Jack Kerouac And The Beat Movement

1083 words - 4 pages

"World War II marked a wide dividing line between the old and the new in American society and the nation's literature"(The World Book Encyclopedia 427) . When world War II ended there was a pent up desire that had been postponed due to the war. Post war America brought about a time when it seemed that every young man was doing the same thing, getting a job, settling down and starting a family. America was becoming a nation of consumers. One group that was against conforming to this dull American lifestyle was referred to as 'Beatniks'. "The Beats or Beatniks condemned middle class American life as morally bankrupt. They praised individualism as the highest human goal"(The World Book Encyclopedia 428). This perspective was present in poetry and literature through out the beat movement.One of the most important works produced during the beat movement was Jack Kerouac's On The Road. In the novel Jack Kerouac's alter ego Sal Paradise represents the American man who realizes he doesn't want to conform to societies pressures but still hasn't realized what it is exactly he wants to do. He is a man who has very little direction and is very much lost in the world as he knows it. Kerouac seems to be constantly trying to escape. In examining the novel one might wonder what is Kerouac escaping and by what means does he do so? Kerouac used two means of escape through out the novel and through out his life.His first means of escape was his constant travel. He traveled from east to west, New York to San Francisco and stopped everywhere in between. He made this trip over and over, constantly on the road. The simple title of the novel exemplifies Kerouac's ongoing need to travel. When he and his friends got tried of traveling east to west they traveled north to south, driving all the way down to Mexico City. His travels gave him the opportunity to be an outsider with no worries. He was able to witness and observe all that there was to offer throughout the country. While journeying across the states, staying in small towns for no more than a few nights, Kerouac was able to obtain a life with no commitment or responsibility. Even if he was to make some sort of commitment to one of his many girls along the way, it wasn't unlike him to just pick up and leave. After all the only thing people around seemed to know about him was that he liked to drink.This leads to the other form of escape Kerouac used, the alteration of reality. Kerouac would mentally alter his perception of reality through the use of drugs and alcohol. "I was getting drunk and didn't care; everything was fine"(Kerouac 35). To him everything in life was fine as long as he was drunk. "He was beginning to drink heavily, and to drink whiskey and gin instead of just beer "(Nicosia 96). "That was only the beginning of his disillusionment. Jack began taking benzedrine and smoking marijuana"(Nicosia 102). Having the means by which he escapes, the question still remains what is Kerouac trying to escape? In...

Find Another Essay On Jack Kerouac And The Beat Movement

Jack Kerouac - Reshaping the Boundaries of Freedom -Compare the main characters from On the Road and Easy Rider

531 words - 2 pages Reshaping the Boundaries of FreedomThis paper deals with the comparison of the main characters from Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider as far as the similarities and differences of their aims, way of life and the period in which they live is concerned.First of all it is suitable to dedicate a few words to the periods of the 20th century the protagonists were living in. The time span of On the Road is three years, starting

Oral Interpretation: This is an interpretation using the book "On the road" by Jack kerouac

742 words - 3 pages That voice in the back of your head, does it drive you insane or have you come to control and silence it? Jack Kerouac didn't believe in silence of the mind. He stayed true to his own opinions, and didn't buy into all of the bull crap everyone else gets sucked into. He knew what reality meant to him, and that all that really mattered. On The Road is not considered the novel of the century only by critics, but also anyone who comes across his

Beat Movement In Relation To On The Road

2682 words - 11 pages comprised of authors, artists, and musicians. The members would attempt to influence and enlighten other people through their writings and music, but their ideas had to come from somewhere, and this was where their greatest problem came from. Members of the Beat Movement continually abused both drugs and alcohol; Kerouac shows this through the events of On The Road

Kerouac and Tyler, "On the Road" and "Saint Maybe" - Comparison and critique

2055 words - 8 pages "Saint Maybe", by Jack Kerouac and Anne Tyler, the authors stress upon life as a set of experiences and how these builds a person.Utterly and completely carefree are the characters, blowing and twisting on the maelstrom of their whims, each lunging twinge of a mental process reflected in miles. A laughing blue sky above waiting to swallow one alive, a gleefully roaring engine burning hungrily in front, the road and its devils grinning wickedly

Redefining the American Dream: The Beat Generation and its Literature

1491 words - 6 pages christened "the Beats", sprung up across America. This sparse movement of roaming vagabonds, their experience both captured and defined by such immortal writers as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, utterly rejected the values and ideals of middle class America. Beat literature drastically redefined the American Dream to one which valued individuality and the deeper meaning derived from life experience by popularizing and glorifying anti-heroes who

A look at Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Generation

1596 words - 6 pages Vision.Early in 1947, Ginsberg met Neal Cassady and began a passionate unreciprocated relationship with him. When Ginsberg goes visit Cassady in Denver and San Francisco, he helps commence a cross-country motion that would later inspire Jack Kerouac in writing his most famous book On The Road. Kerouac's book, as well as Ginsberg's Howl, were pivotal points for making the Beat Generation famous. Soon after, the health condition of Ginsberg's mother

Jack and the beanstock duh

752 words - 4 pages Jack and the Beanstalk is an original 1807 fantasy story. This story was first mentioned in a British folktale written by Benjamin Tabart called “Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean”. This story was the start of the “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Although this was not a huge hit. Jack and the beanstalks biggest sell was in 1890 written by Joseph Jacobs. This story was about a young boy who's family was extremely poor. One morning his mom told him

Literary and Philosophical Movement: THe Transcendental Movement

1116 words - 5 pages With the early decades of the nineteenth century came the transcendental movement. This both literary, and philosophical movement was, and still is, closely linked with the work of both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. These men were both extremely learned thinkers of their time and are now the poster children of transcendentalism. Transcendentalists, such as Emerson and Thoreau, believed that for an individual to establish what they

Lord Of The Flies: Jack And Roger

598 words - 2 pages Lord of The Flies: Jack and Roger Jack and Roger are two allegorical characters in the story: "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. They are both characterized as killers but they are very different from one another. The two young boys start off with the same intentions but as the story progresses we begin to see the differences in their personalities. While Jack's power hunger grows, Roger's sadistic nature also grows as well

Camping: The Rescue of Jack and Taylor

1108 words - 5 pages “I have a surprise for you!” Jack yelled as he pushed open the door to his modest, one-bedroom apartment that he shared with his wife, Taylor. They were both still young, so they could not afford a huge extravagant house in the country, but they were happy to live in the hustle and bustle of the loud New York. “What is it?” responded Taylor, peeking around the corner from the kitchen. She was trying to stifle her amusement at Jack’s excitement

The Life and Writings of Jack London

900 words - 4 pages It appears that many famous people lived through a poor childhood. Jack London had an immensely rough childhood stricken with poverty and uncertainty, yet he is one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century. London’s lack of stability in his life and the various stages he lived through such as being a sailor, hobo, Klondike Argonaut, and self-made millionaire colored the pages of his writing. Lack of stability in a child’s life can

Similar Essays

Jack Kerouac And The Beat Essay

1719 words - 7 pages Jack Kerouac and The Beat        Jack Kerouac, was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts, as the youngest of three children.  Jack decided to be a writer after his brother Gerard died at the age of nine.  From the life and death experience of his brother's death, and the Catholic faith of his childhood, he developed a spiritual tendency in his character that would last throughout his life.  The fact that Kerouac was a spiritual

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg And The Beat Generati

2601 words - 10 pages Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Generation Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac (Jack Kerouac) and Irwin Allen Ginsberg (Allen Ginsberg) were the chief literary figures of the 1950?s. Using a revolutionary approach to writing, Kerouac and Ginsberg formed a literary movement, called the Beat Generation, that continues to influence readers, writers, and movie-makers today (Waxman 8).The word ?beat? would typically be defined as weary or

The Town And The City By Jean Louis Kerouac Aka Jack

861 words - 4 pages friends who would later become part of he Beat movement. Some of his friends included Lucien Carr and William S. Burroughs. Kerouac began writing professionally in the 1940’s. He wrote a novel named The Town and the City that was his first published book. He struggled to make his own name after being compared to the new Thomas Wolfe years after writing this novel. He seemed to have found it while writing his earlier drafts of On The Road. In this

Comparative Commentary: Flann O'brien's Novel "The Third Policeman" And "On The Road" By Jack Kerouac

801 words - 3 pages visit tiny towns which were not, strictly speaking, on its way." The description is also very romantic; it paints the reader a clear picture of the hills and small roads.Text A is a short extract from "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. The style is quite different compared to text B; this is a main highway in the night, going 110 miles an hour past the biggest towns of Nebraska. The speed is conveyed into the text by for example using lists: "A hundred