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Reaction to Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road - Essay Example

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(Name of Student) (Name of instructor) (Name of institution) Jack Kerouac is a central figure in the beat generation of poets and novelists. From On the Road, what does beat mean and how did the novel establish the style and genre? The Beat Generation The novel is written in a backdrop of a youthful age group who were in a quest for importance and meaning beyond the conventional worldview…
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Reaction to Jack Kerouacs novel On the Road
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Download file to see previous pages Al these activities were however meant to try and answer one constant question in their minds “how are we to live?” Beat is there a rather ambiguous word which can have several meanings. Kerouac’s critics however emphasis that the word beat means quite literally tired or beaten down. While Kerouac himself endorsed a rather positive meaning of the word, he put forward a meaning that was beatific and blissful. That is a generation that was always on the beat like in a musical rhythm such as jazz. Holmes and Kerouac published articles to try and enlighten on their interpretation of the word beat. They implied that rather than weariness the word implied being used and raw. This they explicated as coming from the core, of the human soul. It is therefore a word that depicted the vulnerability of the beat generation. He further depicted the meaning as being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In his articles he additionally enlightens that the beat generation was very different from the lost generation of the 1920’s. The beat, generation as enumerated by Kerouac in his many articles is a generation that is rather not lost but one that is constantly searching for answers to life questions. For the beat generation therefore there main concern is not why they should live but rather how they should live. The novel depicts a rather spiritual journey which also included some subjects that the beat generation struggled with. This included religion, marriage and friendship. In numerous ways it the journey the beat generation took in Kerouac’s novel is a quest towards understanding and to find conviction, significance and belonging. They also wanted a more than average feeling they therefore searched for a profound feeling and understanding. As described by Holmes, to be beat is being at the bottom of your personality looking up. This is a state where all things that lack importance have been stripped down and only the core remains to experience the different sensations. The beat generation of 1950’s and 60’s were correlated to behaviors that expressed estranged feeling from the conventional society and promoted individual freedom and clarity through intense sensory awareness brought about by altered consciousness. The beat poets including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Curso attempted to write verses which were not constrained in the academic norms but rather of a “beat” quality. They sometimes mixed vernacular and profanities in their poems this was to depict the urgency and extent of the feeling in the poem movement. In the novel Kerouac depicts various other meanings of beat this are brought out by the characters he writes about. One instance is how Sal admires Dean’s transgressions and immorality even though his indecencies are sometimes extreme and very selfish to those around him. He embodies the beat generation by living for the moment and sampling different girls that come his way not caring if he destroys their lives. Sal in just the same pace idealizes the junkie body which also depicts some aspects of the meaning of the word beat. The word also has negative meanings as brought out to be nightmarish which is embodied by the homeless man idealized by Sal as Huck Finn. He ignores the poverty and marginalization but depicts the Hobo as being in Buddhist trance like mode. This is ridicule since the Hobo ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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