F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby And Jack Kerouac 's On The Road

1178 Words Sep 28th, 2015 5 Pages
The Lost Generation of the 1920s and The Beat Movement of the 1950s were literary movements that sprung from American post-war disillusionment. Both of these groups tested literary convention and were considered bohemian because of their rejection of what they considered to be “inauthentic and prepackaged” lives (Huddleston 1). The similarity between these two movements is reflected in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, texts which both explore the unattainability of the American Dream. The novel’s heroes, Jay Gatsby and Dean Moriarty, serve as vessels for this exploration and thus there are key similarities between the portrayals of the two characters. However, while Fitzgerald portrays Gatsby as inauthentic in order to convey the idea that the American Dream is a myth, Kerouac portrays Dean Moriarty as a genuine character, suggesting that the American Dream is not something that one should seek.
Dean Moriarty and Jay Gatsby are both narrated from an admiring perspective. Sal says of Dean: “my first impression of Dean was of a young Gene Autry - trim, thin-hipped, blue-eyed, with a real Oklahoma accent - a sideburned hero of the snowy West” (Kerouac 8). Sal goes on to portray himself as inferior in comparison, describing the moment Dean and Carlo Marx met, “Their energies met head-on, I was a lout compared, I couldn’t keep up with them” (Kerouac 11). Through this, Kerouac communicates the admiration that Sal feels for Dean. This…

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