The Character Of Dean In On The Road's On The Road

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Register to read the introduction… Sal discovers for himself that "Dean, by virtue of his enormous series of sins, was becoming the Idiot, the Imbecile, the Saint of the lot" (Kerouac 193). Interestingly, Dean is also the most inarticulate character of On the Road from the point of view of standard English; and his verbal skills steadily deteriorate throughout the novel (Krupat 404). In the beginning he tries to find a way into the world of letters, even considers (seriously or not we cannot tell) becoming a writer; that is when he is really funny. But the comic effect of Dean's speech withers as he relinquishes his intellectual pretensions, and stops to use the words that go along with them: that is when he ceases to be a clown and becomes a saint. Towards the end of the novel, particularly in the scenes in Mexico, his utterances remind of phonopoetry (a stream of sounds without any lexical meaning to them, like Dean's "whee," "thassal," "ah-hem," "whoo," "whoop"). It is quite noteworthy that Dean feels "IT" the strongest in Mexico, where in the environment of a foreign language the meaning of words is lost; his perception is, thus, de-suggested. The greater is Dean's mystical knowledge (albeit it unconscious), the farther he moves away from the spoken word (Krupat 404). In the final chapter Sal observes Dean who "could not talk any more and said nothing" (Kerouac …show more content…
It is remarkable that Kerouac wrote most of his works in the same time as John Barth built his fun-houses: there is a world of difference between the two authors, as well the attitudes towards written word they represent. In Beats' understanding truth is beauty; true to life for them meant true to religion, the great principle of Beat faith being that life is a constant religious experience; and the degree to which art is spurned depends upon the degreegnifiers are only an imperfect medium between the authors experiences and the reader; for postmodernism verbal artifice is the end, as well as the means. In Beat literature the reality of experience was primary to its representation; truth, not artistry was the goal of the movement (that may be the reason why Beat writins were able to inspire so many followers to get on the road in search for their true self). Buddha and Christ--the heroes of the generation--never published (Krupat 407). Neither did Neil Cassidy, the silent genius behind the movement; but he by the example of his life provided the ideal which made Kerouac's gospel

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