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On the Road


Kerouac’s novel On the Road ushered in the Beat Generation of 1950s America. Like Gide’s The Immoralist, Kerouac’s semi-autobiographical characters literally run from themselves in the doomed attempt to escape the realization of life’s absurdity. When the routinization of life is stripped away, revealing only the bare facticity of existence, different people react in many different ways. Kerouac explores some of those ways, such as self-destruction, the flight from freedom, and irrevocable choice.

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