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Jack Kerouac - Essay Example

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On The Road: Jack Kerouac and the Beat Movement Introduction In the postwar era (1950s), history chronicled that this period has seen the growth of the economic and political landscape of America. Hence, the rise of materialism and conformity was also a form of liberation from the war and the Great Depression…
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Jack Kerouac
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Jack Kerouac

Download file to see previous pages... However, this work cannot be discussed out of context. Therefore, it is important to also discuss the Beat Movement and its relation to Jack Kerouac to better understand the literary piece, and to provide substantial arguments. John Kerouac and the Beat Movement John Kerouac is the acknowledged leader of the literary artists belonging to the Beat Movement. This movement promotes countering the cultures during the 1950s, whereby resisting conformity expectations of the middle class American culture. This movement was joined by literary artists, who exploit their literary talents to convey and create works with values and topics of poverty, immigration, sex, drugs, eastern philosophers (Buddhism) and American Jazz musicians. These values and topics have been evident in the work of Kerouac, On The Road. This piece has expressed the perceptions and rationality of those belonging to the movement. Through a fictional story, it depicts the group, whereby they refuse to acknowledge various dominating values and beliefs during the period. In particular, the Beat rejects materialism and conformity, which was said to be the expectation of the American middle class. Rejection of Conformity in Middle Class American Based on the work of Kerouac, the main aim of the Beat Movement (based on the book) is to restore the authenticity of humans in the culture of the prepackaged life--- that is conformity. To note, this era was a proliferation of freedom repression. It is apparent that the Beat Movement aspires to influence the society in reinventing the dominant culture through writings. By narrating his and his friends travel experiences, he instills the importance of freedom in a world governed by norms. Their deviation from uniformity was characterised by their travels on the road. Despite believing in the power of language, the Beat movement continues their fight by living what they write. That is, they are able to deliver their sentiments by living “freely” with drugs, religion, voluntary poverty, affirmation to third sex and alcoholism. These elements are distinctively clear in their writings, as well. Moreover, it is often emphasised from the book that residing in a particular area is never permanent. This paper perceived this reflects the ambition of the Beat to create a new value and faith outside the values which forcibly shape their lives and beliefs. Provided with this, the Beat pointed out that the ultimate dream is not to conform to society, but rather it is the freedom from the conservative society they belong to. They perceive such conservatism as a curtailment of their freedom to express themselves. Hence, the primary rationale on why the Beat rejects conformity is the hopes of circumventing the restrictions associated with the expectations of the American middle class. On the second note, the book demonstrated that the Beat rejected American Middle class restrictions as it also promotes materialism and consumerism in the capitalist society. This means that the Beat rejects conformity as they do not believe in materialism. Acquiring this value does not guarantee happiness despite one’s abounding wealth. The Beat recognised the importance of spiritual fulfillment, which will not be attained by materialistic values. The characters’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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