Bible of the Beats Essay example

Submitted By Comeau2121
Words: 1016
Pages: 5

Bible of the Beats “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars (Kerouac 5-6).” On The Road by Jack Kerouac accurately depicts the story of the Beat Generation, their mentality, and their struggles. The Beat Generation fought against societal norms to create a truly unique voice in the fifties. The members of the Beat Generation, “the Beats”, felt alienated from the Mainstream White America (Holton 2). The Beat Generation cropped up in a time when the urge to comply to White America was at its highest, and they combated and confronted the idea of conformity all together. In the Beat Classic, On the Road, the characters, Beats, felt the need to change or challenge the social order (Holton 1). The Beat Generation wanted to copy heroes from all types of ostracized groups, like African Americans. Many have considered the Beat Generation to be White Negroes meaning they listened to the considerably black music and acted like a negro would. They even used the same kind of “hip” slang as the Negroes of the time. The Beats desired to be join these excluded groups. On The Road expressed this diversity many times throughout the novel (Holton 2). In one example, Sal finds himself in Mill City which is described as, “the only community in America where whites and Negroes lived together voluntarily.” (Kerouac 60) In fact, at one point Sal finds himself wanting to be a Negro, wishing for that life, thinking about how bad he had it compared to other minorities (Holton 3) “wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had to offer was not enough. . . anything but I was so drearily, a ‘white man’ disillusioned.” (Kerouac 180) The Beat Generation abandoned their regular lives in hopes to run away in hopes of running away from responsibility. It can be said that Sal Paradise, the main character in On the Road, goes on these cross country trips to escape from the pressures in life rather than find life itself. Sal attempts to free himself from true intimacy and more taxing human relationships. Sal fears his emotions and attempts to go through life unattached. He expresses things in the most hyperbolic way making everything the saddest moment or the greatest in the world without an in-between. For Sal Paradise, it seems that real life is never enough it must be emphasized and intensified (Vopat 1). Sal is not the only character to feel this way most of the characters in On the Road take to the adventure not to find responsibility but leave it behind, many of them run from wives, kids, mistresses. Sal and Dean go on pointless trips to evade everything that threatens them for they do not want to change. Freedom is in all reality freedom from life. Dean Moriarty is completely free because he is absolutely crazy. Dean is out of range where good and evil are concerned (Vopat 2). Another form escape for the characters in On the Road was sex. For Sal Paradise the bed is really a “deathbed” where he hopes to lose himself in in bliss. He is convinced one of his “flings” Terry is a whore until he realizes that she is just a young girl as delicate as he is. “I saw her poor belly where there was Caesarian scar; her hips were so narrow she couldn’t bear a child without getting gashed open. Her legs were like little sticks. She was only four foot ten. I made love to her in the sweetness of the weary morning. Then, two tired angels of some kind, hung-up forlornly in an LA shelf, having found the closest and