Central Idea: Jack Kerouac's On the Road shows how one should live life impulsively in a world based on repetition, because life is too short to not have fun and experience new things.
Thesis: Kerouac shows the importance of living life spontaneously through the character development, the style of writing, and the various symbols found throughout the work.
Outline I. Steinbeck shows migration through California through his character's development in The Grapes of Wrath.
A. Through Tom Joad Steinbeck shows that one can redeem himself even if he has murdered someone.
1. Tom's purpose a. Help the family get food b. Live normally 2. Tom's feelings a. Live life one day at a time b. Better the future for his family 3. Migration a. Traveling with family b. Meeting people he knows on the way (eg. Priest) B. Ma Joad also shows a strong maternal bonding between not only her and her son but also the rest of the family.
1. Ma Joad's purpose a. Strengthening the bond between the family b. Leading the family when in trouble 2. Ma Joad's attitude a. Trying to be a "good college boy" b. His admiration of Dean 3. Ma Joad's triumphs a. Told her daughter to breast feed a man starving to death b. Goes on the Cali Desert and carries her dead mother as to not slow the others down.
C. All the family members and other people connected to the Joad family also contribute to the theme.
1. The priest's description of the baptism 2. Grandma a. Ma Joad's dies after Granpa b. Widowed 3. Grandpa Founder of the Joad farm 4. Rose of Sharon Her baby is born while migrating II. Steinbeck's Kerouac's style and structure of writing compliment the theme of living life spontaneously as well as bring out the ideas of the repetition of life.
A. Kerouac's work is brought out in a stream of consciousness style of writing that parallels with the main theme of living life on "in the now." 1. Kerouac's own life a. Basing Sal and Dean on Kerouac's personal past b. Writing as he lived 2. The work's problems because of Kerouac's writing style a. On the Road's publishing delays b. On the Road's roll of paper 3. Sal's style of story telling a. Sal's bluntness and quickness b. Time passage B. Kerouac's writing structure brings out the repetition of life throughout the entire work.
1. Each part or Act begins and ends in the same way a. Sal's embarkation b. Dean's getting into trouble 2. Disappointment a. Each act ends with a disappointment b. Sal and Dean learn to live with the failures in 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 dreaded about and how one should live life as it is, not how it was or will be.
A. The world that Dean and Sal travel in holds many symbols of the old and new world and helps contribute to the theme of living life in the now.
1. The directions a. East b. West 2. Italy, the ultimate destination and the old world 3. The new lands a. California b. Mexico B. The now of life, or the ultimate perfection, is considered as "it" throughout the work, and is how Dean wants to live his life.
1. Life's meaning 2. The ultimate pursuit a. Dean's goal in life b. Dean's escape 3. Nirvana a. Drug use b. Jazz music C. Life on the road brings out many symbols in Kerouac's work that all contribute to the overall sensation of a free-spirited life.
1. The Road a. Life b. History 2. The Cars a. Each car is a new life, or a new stage b. The various degrees of Dean's insanity 3. The Cities