Trials and Tribulations of the Road

Topics: On the Road, Neal Cassady, Doctor Sax Pages: 6 (2664 words) Published: February 20, 2013
Trials and Tribulations of the Road
Todd Wantz
Baker College

Trials and Tribulations of the Road
Trials, tribulations, diversity, conformity, and individuality are all major issues in the writings that have been studied in this course. There have been many examples of individualism and diversity, along with both conformance and non-conformance of ideas within the stories that have been read. This goes to show that all authors in one way or another use adversities within their individual writings that for the most part grabs their audiences and holds them in rapture until the story is completed. Two of the writings being discussed here are prime examples of the complexities of American writers. In the story On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac made certain that he addressed or referenced many of the major issues confronting society at any given time. The major story line pertained to Sal’s trials and tribulations while traveling on the road and discovering him while he confronted each and every issue thrown at him during his lifetime. By addressing these issues in his writing, Kerouac, set the audience in a direction that ultimately made his audience do some heavy thinking of society’s views of conformity, non-conformity, individuality, and diversity during this story. This avenue of approach to the issues at hand opened up the audience’s eyes to the extreme ideals of Sal and his friends’ convictions and freedom of expression. What many people are not aware of is that Kerouac’s On the Road, is based upon his own travels across America with his friends. Kerouac had his own way to express his sense of freedom by wandering the country and just being a free spirit at a time when there was much consternation towards the future of society. Based upon this information, it can be deduced that his story and travels were a chaotic reenactment of his own adventures. Historically, On the Road portrays a personal sense on non-conforming, by showing that no matter what Sal and his friends run into, they are going to continue to attack life with the zealous and carefree approach that emanates from their whole being, even though while at this time in history, conformity was praised and outsiders were suspect. The phrase at the end of the novel of “What’s your road, man?” can be deciphered as Sal’s (Kerouac) personal quest that he needs to complete to understand where his life is taking him and his convictions to be himself no matter what adversities he is confronted with. The two main characters are Salvatore “Sal” Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty, who is based on Kerouac’s friend Neal Cassady. Dean was an individual with a cavalier and carefree attitude who inspired Sal to embrace life by the moment and live for the day and not to worry about the future. He was much admired for his sense of adventure and carefree attitude. When Sal decides to make his first trip to San Francisco, he was just coming out of his divorce and was very disheartened with his life, so when he eventually meets up with Dean on the way to San Francisco, his life changes based upon Dean’s tremendously excited with life attitude which rubs off on Sal. Sal has no expectations or true detailed reason for his first trip other than to experience life in good and bad trials. Sal had no worries about how he was going to get to San Francisco, or what he was going to do for money when his initial fifty dollars runs out. Sal takes a few different buses plus hitchhikes and finally arrives in Denver. At this juncture in his travels he hooks up with Carlo Marx, Dean, and their friends. They have many parties including one in the ghost town of Central City. Sal takes his leave after many nights of revelry and makes the final leg of his original journey and arrives in San Francisco. Sal hooks up with his friend Remi Boncoeur and his girlfriend Lee Ann, while Remi gets Sal a job as a night watchman at a boarding camp for sailors waiting to ship out. Not long after he...
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