On the Road

Kerouac's Style in "On the Road" 10th Grade

Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road is a hallmark story of the Beat Generation, a movement defined by its rejection of conformity in favor of a search for deeper meaning. It is this search that serves as a catalyst for the majority of the action of the narrative, as the protagonist Sal Paradise travels across the country with a host of companions, the chief among them being Dean Moriarty. The story revolves around a series of excursions including trips to Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Mexico. Sal and Dean both seem incapable of settling down, especially Dean, who oscillates among three different relationships and is married three times in the course of the plot. In the end however, Sal becomes disillusioned with Dean’s thoughtlessness when he is deliriously ill in Mexico and Dean leaves him. He moves back to New York and elects to live a more sedentary lifestyle with a stable girlfriend. Dean visits, but he is no longer able to enchant Sal with his impulsive behavior and philosophical musings. A rift forms between the two, as Sal remains stationary and content and Dean continues to drift in his travels with reckless abandon, searching for the intangible meaning that will give purpose to his life. Throughout...

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