On The Road By Jack Kerouac Essay

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In the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac, we follow Sal as he travels the country bouncing state to state and friend to friend following the crazy wild lifestyle of Dean Moriarty. Throughout the novel Sal and his friends indulge in sex, alcohol and drugs, and are constantly moving around contradicting the idea that in order to be happy you must find a job, a wife, have kids, and live in a nice home. During his journey we witness Sal and his gang of “mad men” counter societal norms by living life as they see fit to show that happiness is not the same for everyone and people do not have to stick to what society says is the “right” way in order to create our own happiness. In the novel Sal and his pals are constantly hopping from one girl to the next and those who do settle down seem to have lost their “madness”. Dean for example flip flops with Camille and Marylou the whole time while still flirting with a number of women on his journeys.
Sal himself finds countless women including Terry and Lucille who he has a chance to be happy with and start a family the way society tells us we should but he leaves them behind. On page 124 Sal says “I was willing to marry her” referring to Lucille but instead he decides to take off with Dean again and head West. With Terry, he seems genuinely happy and they tell one another that they love each other but in the end, Sal has to leave back for New York because he is broke and can’t support the two. Instead of finding work and fighting to…

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