Monday, March 24, 2008

On The Road: Explication


On the last page of the book On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, there is a very meaningful and important passage. The passage reads: "...all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty." This passage is both very descriptive and powerful. In the passage the author is suggesting that there are things in life that will always be unknown, but there are memories that will never be forgotten. He also displays the fact that every place is different from another.

In the first part of this passage the road is the subject. This part of the passage is very important because the road is a main symbol throughout the book. With these words the author is expressing the feel of the road. The road is always going and can seem endless. It makes up all of America. People dream on this road about life and love and everything. It allows people to feel free to think and wonder. It fascinates those who drive on it because it has them guessing where it will take them next.

The next part of the passage is about Iowa. This part is significant because it shows that all the states are different and unique. The author is trying to express that no two places are the same. In Iowa, "they let the children cry". All places have their own ways that make them unique. Normal is defined differently for all locations. What seems normal in one place can be absurd in another. Kerouac is showing how different everywhere can be.

In the following part of the passage the author refers to God. The stars in the sky tell the reader there is a clear night sky and that it is peaceful on this part of earth. Stars do not appear in busy places like cities. This also refers back to the fact that everywhere is different. The words, "God is Pooh Bear?” can suggest that God is interpreted in many ways because every person can see Him in his own way. Maybe the children are young and innocent and like Pooh Bear, so this is why he is referred to as God. Age and even location can affect personality and nobody is the same as anybody else.

The next part of the passage the night is becoming full. The phrase, "the evening star must be drooping", can represent the sky starting to change. Once the stars are gone the sky becomes darkness. This is when most people sleep. The night can represent peace for everyone, whether they are sleeping or not. The night is unique to every area and comes at different times in different areas too. The author is showing some of the many diversities of the world.

The night is unique to every part of the world. Night and darkness can symbolize old age and death. This last part of the passage expresses thoughts about old age and about memories. Everyone will grow old, but memories are not forgotten. Although close friends may not stay with each other for their whole lives, the times they spent together are never forgotten. This ending shows how close Dean and Sal really were. Sal is thinking of Dean and remembering the times they had together. People go their separate ways and everything eventually comes to an end. Memories make everything more worthwhile and happy to remember when one is close to the end.

All the different lifestyles and places in the world make memories once experienced. Experiencing another ay of living is something one cannot forget. Traveling with friends and making memories out of all the good old times is something one should cherish. Although there is always an end, it can become more pleasant with happy memories to reminisce about. Diversity is beneficial for one to experience. Every person and every place is different and unique in its own way. Kerouac is telling the reader that there are many differences in the world, but that the differences will not hurt a person. Experiencing different things can create memories that should be preserved because everyone must die, but everyone should have fun times, hard times, and best friends to remember.

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