LITERATURE: On The Road – Dreams and Human Nature

Perhaps because it is based upon his own experiences, Kerouac has a very heartening way of presenting his narrator, Sal Paradise, that makes you both cheer for him and sigh in sympathy for the very realness of his nature:

My shoes, damn fool that I am, were Mexican huraches, plantlike sieves not fit for the rainy night of America and the raw road night.  But the people let me in and rode me back to Newburgh, which I accepted as a better alternative than being trapped in the Bear Mountain wilderness all night. (…) It was my dream that screwed up, the stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America instead of trying various routes.  (p. 16)

The great dream of travel disrupted by plans–or the plan disrupted by the dream.  And the idea of the perfect route being a straight one rather than meandering.  Where does the exploratory nature become sidetracked by vision?  Where does personal perception of the perfect adventure color the reality? 

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