Absolute Truths and the Narrator’s Perspective in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

A book is a literary composition handwritten or printed usually on sheets of paper bound together, it can be separated in different sections like fiction or nonfiction. The word book, comes from “Old English bōc of Germanic origin; related to Dutch boek and German Buch” (Dictionary). Books were invented with the purpose of record people’s stories and discoveries, so people could document their ideas and make them an available source for others. Nowadays books are the most important reference of information, evidence and entertainment that allow a huge number of people that have access to it to explore the history registered of different countries, people, places or events. The books had served to educate a lot of different generations of human beings by increasing their knowledge about diverse matter topics. Many researches from prestige schools had demonstrated that reading a book helps to develop more effectively different parts of the brain. Books are considerate signatures or footprints of their writers to the humanity. The book “On The Road” (Jack Kerouac) tells the story of a passionate young writer called Sal Paradise from New York City that is looking for a change in his life and that it turn meets Dean a young man with a special and different point of view about life but most importantly, they share a common desire, the desire to explore, experiment, and live on the road.

“On The Road” (Jack Kerouac) is a distinct piece that convey the base of absolute truths from the strict point of view of the narrator. The school Post-Modernism express that by identifying the margins of someone’s knowledge they are able to portray different qualities and features of there own self. It is attempt to interpret the chapters of the book by clarifying in detail the summary of what happens in the story and explaining the author’s experiences. The author tries to motivate its audience to experience the road.

The book “On The Road” (Jack Kerouac) start with the narrator Sal Paradise, who is a young writer from New York City bored, depressed after his divorce lives in his aunt’s house and surrounded by just intellectual friends meets Dean Moriarty. Dean had just arrived from Denver and had just gotten out of reform school, and married a pretty young lady called Marylou. Dean is a frenetic young man full of ideas and with the desire to become a “real intellectual.” Sal likes Dean madness and his uneducated intelligence. Sal finds in Dean the motivation that he had always been looking for to head to the west part of the country that had always called Sal’s attention. In spring of next year everybody set a place to go and start their adventures, Dean leave, back to Denver and Sal promises himself that he will follow Dean to the west soon. The next July of the same year, with fifty dollars in his pocket, having written half novel and left it on top of his desk, with a thorough plan, maps and a path traced by Route 6, Sal decides to start his trip to west. After several failed plans, hitchhiking and several life lessons, Sal head to his different destinations where in each one he experience a new love, friendship, and start working in several jobs in order to survive. The narrator explains extensively the details of the people he met, and the places he visited and the overall characteristics of his trip. After multiples moments and events Sal comes back to New York. In Christmas season of the same year Sal is celebrating holidays with his family in Virginia but few unexpected visitors appeared at the door of Sal’s relatives to help turn upside down Sal’s Christmas. It was Dean, Marylou and Ed Dunkel. Dean offers to deliver some furniture to Sal’s aunt’s house for the relatives. It took them two trips to complete the deliver. Back in New York, Dean and Sal gets reunited with their old friends and party all New Year weekend. The four of them, Sal, Dean, Marylou and Ed Dunkel decide to go to New Orleans to look for Ed’s wife. Sal starts to communicate deeper to Dean about his desire to marry a good woman a settle with her forever; although Dean respected Sal’s ideas he didn’t feel the same way. Sal’s gets influence by Dean and he starts to question himself by feeling confuse and “madness.” Then Ed stay in New Orleans and they head to San Francisco this trip make things really abstract between Marylou who tries to flirt with Sal who doesn’t understand the why but enjoys the joy of having a pretty blond girl interested on him and Dean, who can’t decide what he wants from Marylou. After getting to San Francisco Dean comes back to his other wife, Marylou start dating a new guy by the second night they gets in San Francisco and Sal remains alone in a huge and magnificent city. In spring Sal goes to Denver to work in a wholesale market for a while but with not friend around he start to feel lonely, he envy the people from his neighborhood. After, Sal spends the night with a rich woman he knows, and in the morning she gives him money to go to San Francisco. Dean and Sal meet again, Dean have a terrible fight with Camille and live the house. Dean and Sal decide to stick together; Sal proposes to go to New York and then to Italy because they belong to be moving on the road; however, once in new york Dean manage again to stick with another girl and she gets pregnant. Then after certain circumstances Sal manage to sell his book and embarks on a new journey but this time to Mexico. At the end Sal realizes the limits of his friendship with Dean but at the same time he accepts him because is just the way he is. Their positions changed because Sal becomes stronger and more confident and Dean incoherent and lost. What Dean represents for Sal is the magnificence and wildness of a landscape of a new place that hasn’t been explore for him yet, the courage to try new things, and the inspiration to always try to follow your dreams, even if that means staying on the road.

Sometimes the author provides important lines that makes it’s audience create expectations about what’s going to happen in the story. The author is able to gives a summary of its main point in just one line. “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up,” (On the Road, Jake Kerouac). In the book is clear how important and what represents Dean for Sal. It is incredible how the author whit this quote in specific reveals what’s going to happen and about whom our main character is going to focus. The author opens up the first chapter by announcing to its readers the importance of the character Dean, it also expressed that in someone way or the other Dean will impact Sal’s life. In this quotes the key words that make the reader have a deeply understanding and the meaning of this sentence in specific. One of the is the word “Met,” is the past of the word “Meet,” original from Old English metan “to find, find out; fall in with, encounter; obtain,” and other word from Proto-Germanic. It means to come upon; come into the presence of; encounter. “After,” comes from Old English æfter “after, next, throughout, following in time, later,” from Old English of “off.” It means later in time than; in succession to; at the close of. “Split,” Middle English, probably from a Low German source such as Middle Dutch splitten. It means to divide or separate from end to end or into layers.

The school of Post Modernism criticism stays that there exists no unified truth. This relays on if we take the book “On The Road” (Jack Kerouac) and we change the point of view of the text by changing the narrator and focusing in another character of the story then the scenario would be completely different. This book it remains mostly on the experiences of the narrator Sal Paradise and his adventures to find a purpose and balance in their lives with his dear friend Dean. If for example, we take the character Marylou one of the wives of Dean and one of the main feminine characters of the story and provides her the opportunity to express her experience during this process called life and that she part of, then people will have a different prospective of the story, like what it feels to have a relationship with someone who is considered crazy, stable and volatile on what he wants or what he feel for others what it feels to have someone with a strong deficit of responsible parents to take care of him or what she had learned or appreciate during her trips with Sal and Dean, what was her thinking at the moment she decided to embrace her different attitudes to others; or if we take Sal’s aunt who always provided him a home where to come back and money when he needed it, what will be her story that wasn’t told in the text what it feels to be a constant help for someone or to wait uncertain amount of time to receive letters or a call from Sal to know if was alive and alright; however, the author of the story left the story of Sal’s aunt out because he’s main focus was in the memories that Sal had with his friends and the lessons about life and how that helped him to grow inside and outside and how everything that he lived allow him shaped a new part of his personality that was compressed because of his life style of before. The author might omit her because maybe she is her relative and normally family always will be there to help each other and encourage their loves one to complete their goals in life. In this book is more important how the main character learns and feels about everything around him from love and to the view he has about himself.

“Trough deconstruction we can identify the in between and the marginalized to begin interstitial knowledge building.” So if this book is taken and analyzed it and per chapter the reader try to understand what the author is trying to portray then a person or in this case the reader is able to build knowledge base on the author experience expressed on his work. Truths are what people consider their absolute definition about something but what in reality is that truth is what people had been taught from others generations and believe and present their own point of view and apply this in their lives. Accepted truths are the absolute point of view of something that society has created and has planted on people’s thinking. In this book “On The Road” (Jack Kerouac) the author has contradict different general accepted truths. For example, it has been establish that in order to have a productive and happy life people must born, study, work and have a family is people follow this process they might have a perfect happy ending. However, the author expresses reality in his writing. That how out there, there’s different stuff that can turn upside down our reality. For example, the narrator Sal Paradise set his path going through a process to assimilate what he wanted from life and to try to fulfill his dreams and expectations, he decided to travel around the country ad experience the unusual things that he was used to and develop parts of his personality that he did not know. Although, he wishes to have what society has impose is the right thing to have Sal at least decided to follow a different path to obtain what he wanted and after discover the difference he share with another and his dear friend Dean.

“Post-structuralists assert that if we cannot trust language systems to convey the very bases of truth, then the truth is unreliable.” Truth can be change any time depending on the circumstances and the person tells it. In the book the author left out the deep story of many characters except of Dean, Sal and Marylou; if he had express the story of the others characters in deeper mention then the work might undermine it’s goal that was present the development of young man during that years by taking a different path of live different to was is dictated in society and how people around others can impact their lives and ways of thinking or perceive things as Sal did. Or how to have a really imbalance live without a goal and try to drag others in this confusion and discomfort might affect negatively their own self. The author focuses in few characters because he also might lose the attention of the reader on the main idea of the book. The ideology that the text does try to promote is the idea of self-concentration and interest. When someone decides to discover his limits and their own direction of life many things can change to perhaps more positive actions and situations.

In conclusion, the book “On The Road” falls under the criteria of the school of criticism Post-Modernism because this work characterizes for develop and express people’s own truth about certain things. It can also be interpreted really easy when it comes to outline and to get the main point of the message of the author. Highlighting important moments and key words that helped the reader to intertwine with the experiences of the narrator. In the book its clear how the author through his own experiences shows to the reader the type of life style of his era and the way of thinking of that time, its expressed as well what he had learned different and significant lessons by challenging his truth or reality and believes. Dean is a key part of the story because with him is when Sal get to attend the call of his sense of adventure and madness. Since the beginning the author awakens in the reader interest in Dean. In his own sense the narrator get obsessed to be and experiment like Dean that get lost on his way but then he grows and become stronger and more self- confident giving place to anew person. The road is where just they belong since the beginning because they were met for it.

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