Jack Kerouac's On The Road

Words: 727
Pages: 3

Jack Kerouac introduced a new artistic movement and style of prose writing with his masterpiece On the Road. The themes of freedom and man’s search for meaning ring true throughout the novel, capturing the core of the “Beat” generation. To Kerouac, his travels West on the road motivated an attitude and philosophy of living in the moment which he personified through the character of Dean Moriarity, inspired by Kerouac’s real life friend Neal Cassidy. To Sal Paradise or Kerouac, the road West represented his life and journey towards the future and his path to wisdom and purpose. Movement and travel to Kerouac became the means for both leaving the past behind and forging a new future. Sal’s attitude and thoughts on the West and what it symbolizes in each part of the novel give readers the ability to track Kerouac’s progression of thoughts on what he understood life’s meaning to be. In the beginning of the novel, Sal’s story begins with the introduction of …show more content…
The search for “IT” is a journey to find personal meaning the search for ultimate truth. Towards the end of the novel when Dean and Sal are traveling to Mexico, Kerouac quotes “It was no longer East-West but magic South.” “‘This will finally take us to “IT”’.” said Dean”. (Kerouac, 265) This belief in finding a deeper meaning and finally stumbling across “IT” is what drives Sal and Dean West and eventually South. Although their search for purpose on the road eventually ends and leaves Sal with nothing physical to show for, the act of searching and the journey it entails is what Sal eventually realizes is his goal and final meaning. In a conversation between Dean and Sal ‘“we can’t get to honesty – we search after it but we can’t catch it.”’ ‘“We keep on living in hopes of catching “IT” once and for all.”’ (48). In the end, although Sal is left with questions, his progress through life and his journey is full of personal