Sal's Search For "It" In "On The Road"

1515 words - 6 pages

In Jack Kerouac's On The Road, Sal Paradise is a man who was fed up with his life and what was expected of him. He was no longer content to sit around and allow society to dictate to him whom he should be and how he should act. It was at this time in his life that Sal met Dean Moriarty who saw that he was ripe for influence. Sal didn't necessarily know exactly what he wanted, but he knew he needed change. Dean became his "guru" in that Sal knew that Dean would teach him about life and lead him on great adventures that would help him discover the world around him and what he wanted out of it. Sal was ready for something more. He comes to this realization while riding on the bus with Dean through the Lincoln Tunnel.

."..I was beginning to get the bug like Dean... He was conning me and I knew it... and he knew I knew..., but I didn't care and we got along fine... I began to learn from him as much as he probably learned from me." (pg. 4)

It was here Sal understood that, good, bad, present, or absent, Dean would greatly affect his life.

Sal and his eclectic crew of friends decide that if they really do want more out of life, and they truly want answers to their questions, a journey is necessary. They go on an excursion across America looking for something more significant than what society had thrust upon them. This merry band is tired of society's version of "normal." They knew they didn't fit into the social order as it was. So they went in search of their own "norms", their own "American dream", and their own place in the world. Sal and his friends went in search of "IT."

Kerouac guides the reader to the understanding that "IT" can be different for everyone. Sal began his search for "IT" because he was restless in New York and did not know how to fix the feeling. Though Sal criss-crossed the country searching for something more, his true journey was internal; and if he "seemed to trespass most boundaries, legal and moral, it was only in the hope of finding a belief on the other side" (xxix). Though Sal could not define what he yearned for, he threw himself into America in search none-the-less. On the other hand, Dean knew what he was seeking. Dean's "IT" was spiritually related. Dean longed for the insight into the most intimate secrets of the Universe. Sal and all of his friends were in pursuit of something more. Yet all of their definitions of what they were in search of were different.

I agree with Kerouac that the idea of "IT" is different for each person. For some, "IT" may be material, like the stability of a well paying job or a house to call their own. For others "IT" may be spiritually or morally linked, such as a person or family to love and be loved by, a place where they fit in, or the search and discovery of a higher power. And still other versions of "IT" may be indefinable, a feeling, a sentiment, an emotion, or an inclination. Dean asserts this particular aspect of "IT" when he tries to explain the idea if "IT"...

Find Another Essay On Sal's Search for "IT" in "On the Road"

The Search for Humanity in Europe

707 words - 3 pages Hank DelisonDr. R. KeelerAnt. 101-01May 24, 2013The search for humanity in EuropeOur textbook, "Essentials of Physical Anthropology" on page 246 tells us that the distant ancestors of modern humans migrated out of Africa at least 1.8 mya in the form of Homo erectus. But that was in Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, and while this could be termed Europe it is quite a bit to the east of what is considered Europe today. Our book goes on to describe the

The search for god in eight ch

973 words - 4 pages The Search for God in Eight Chapters In Eight Chapters by Maimonides, there seems to be a lot of confusion when dealing with the existence of God and man's perception of him. Maimonides was trying to provide a strong basis for the belief that God was above man, but instead he only succeeds in stating obvious facts that fail to show a complete understanding of the subject.Maimonides does admit to the fact that metaphysics has yet to correctly

The Search for Truth in Voltaire's "Candide"

1467 words - 6 pages teach a moral and be analyzed, or if it was written for entertainment purposes only. According to I.O. Wade, in the Journal Encyclopedique, the story was written for entertainment purposes and the author should have dealt more with important matters such as religion instead of focusing on story line. Most of the story is about the journeys of Candide, and Voltaire did not include significant morals upon writing the novel. In Grimm's review, it is

The Search for Religious Freedom in America

2160 words - 9 pages Massachusetts law, it was seen as fair. Hutchinson and the legacy of the Antinomian Controversy is important when viewed in the light of what would later become the dogma of separation of church and state. In addition, with her emphasis on grace as the sole requirement for salvation, she took a bold step toward achieving true religious freedom in America. Catholicism, Judaism, and Diversity in the Colonies In the middle 17th century, the Puritans were

The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning

820 words - 3 pages The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning The search for immortality is not an uncommon one in literature. Many authors and poets find contentment within the ideals of faith and divinity; others, such as Whitman and Stevens, achieve satisfaction with the concept of the immortality of mortality. This understanding of the cycle of death and rebirth dominates both Walt Whitman's "On the Beach at Night" and

Essay on the Search for Freedom in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour

596 words - 2 pages Search for Freedom in The Story of an Hour     In the early 1900s, marriage was comparable to a master-and-slave relationship.  The role of the woman in the marriage was minimal.  The woman’s place was in the house, caring for the children, cleaning the house, and doing other “womanly” tasks.  Chained to their husbands, marriage became prison to many women; the only means of breaking free from these bonds

Essay on Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1111 words - 4 pages Search for Identity in Joy Luck Club      Each person reaches a point in their life when they begin to search for their own, unique identity. In her novel, Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan follows Jing Mei on her search for her Chinese identity – an identity long neglected.   Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother

Essay on Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper

631 words - 3 pages Jane's Search for Self-identity in The Yellow Wallpaper     "The Yellow Wallpaper," written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late nineteenth century, explores the dark forbidding world of one woman's plunge into a severe post-partum depressive state. The story presents a theme of the search for self-identity. Through interacting with human beings and the environment, the protagonist creates for herself a life of her own. Charlotte

The Journey for Hope in The House on Mango Street and The Road

2444 words - 10 pages It may seem difficult to find the common characteristic in those two novels as they are completely different. The only thing seen at the first sight is the fact that the main characters are children. But there are more linking features, especially hope, and this work is going to reveal them. The main character of the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is Chicana girl called Esperanza struggling with her origin and searching for

Quest for Self and Identity in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road

1338 words - 5 pages The Quest For Identity In On The Road     In Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’, the protagonists embark upon a long, arduous quest for human identity. Their aim is to uncover who they truly are, where they fit in the ‘scheme of things’ and what the meaning of life is. They articulate this desire by speaking, during the novel, of the search for ‘IT’, ‘IT’ being human identity. This ‘IT’ is an intangible thing; something that holds a different

Essay on Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon

676 words - 3 pages . Indeed, the search for gold that sends him to Virginia reveals his perception that escaping from his past and his responsibilities and finding material treasure will guarantee him a sense of his own identity.   Milkman's assumption that his trip south holds the key to his liberation is correct, although it is not gold that saves him. In his ancestors' world, communal and mythical values prevail over individualism and materialism; when he

Similar Essays

Sal's Enlightenment In Mexico In Jack Kerouac's, On The Road

3006 words - 12 pages roses of happiness all the time, but none of us know it. The happiness consists in realizing that it is all a great strange dream" (36). This vision of Mexico as a "Pure Land" with innate contradictions and complexity also appears in Kerouac's On the Road. In the final sections, Sal and Dean travel to Mexico City, but while Dean goes for kicks and to obtain a quick divorce, Sal goes for a different reason. From the beginning of the novel

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road The Impact Of Dean On Sal's Identity

1047 words - 4 pages ) Perhaps these memorable childhood events caused him to avoid becoming to close to any one person later in his life. Keeping his distance, he absorbed people and recorded their souls on paper.   Even if the road was in Sal's (Kerouac's) blood, he still needed the character and energy of Dean to trigger it. In the first paragraph of On The Road, Sal states "With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on

Outline For On The Road

1107 words - 4 pages life.3. Love-Sal and Dean's many failed relationships.C. The narration plays an important part of the structure and style of the work.1. Sal-The hero of Contemplation 2. The onlooker a. Narrator's role in the work b. Sal's role in Dean's life 3. Sal's fading a. Dean's taking over of the story b. Sal's lessening of importance III. Various symbols come together in Kerouac's On the Road to illustrate how life should not be

Expert Opinions In The Search For Knowledge

1605 words - 6 pages experience with Libyan politics. This example goes to prove how important experts are in the search for knowledge, and how they facilitate our understanding towards issues that the international public maybe unfamiliar with, such as the origins of the 2011 Libyan crisis. Although, on the other hand, stating that experts are important in the search for knowledge could be deemed as a correspondent truth, as it is an obvious statement based on logic