In the emotionally stagnant atmosphere of post-World War Two suburbia, while “square America” was striving to attain the blissfully mundane lifestyle portrayed by popular television sitcoms, a small group of people led by Jack Kerouac and Allen Gisnberg were desperately attempting to expand their horizons and find significance in their existences. Kerouac’s On the Road is perhaps the most famous account of the Beat Generation’s struggle to find emotional satisfaction and independence from the intensely conservative ideology of popular America. The novel, a blatant depiction of the excessive and controversial adventures of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady during their voyage across the American continent, was revolutionary both in its content and style. On the Road illustrates Kerouac’s fear of monotony while subtly explaining the author’s search for spiritual enlightenment and the ecstasy of true knowledge. But even after all his frantic journeys to escape mediocrity, Kerouac is not satisfied, and he makes use of contradictions and long, unrestricted sentences to portray his noble ????yet unsuccessful???? attempt to find enlightenment. Paradise’s intellectual trip Kerouac pledges his allegiance to the Beat society early on in the book, demonstrating his isolation from the average American man: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” (Kerouac, 1961, p.10)# In this passage, Sal Paradise describes the essence of the Beat”s spirit, the fantastic desire and energy of those who fight to experience life to the fullest, and their common disdain for those who accept a mundane and …
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