Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Sal being a writer adds an interesting, complex dynamic to his travels both in his eyes and in Kerouac's audience. Firstly, from the very outset of the book it is clear that this is all about the journey. he is 'On The Road', it doesn't point anywhere and as he hitchhikes his way across the country his final destination seems to be of little pressing importance to him. There is too much to see along the way. There are too many friends to see and adventures to be had.
Understanding that Sal is a writer can allow one to see his travels as potential stories. He claims at least once that he is momentarily not interested in the value of the story and that he is involved in the moment for his enjoyment. His statement implies that the writing is actually on his mind the rest of the time he is making this journey and looking at the world around him. In addition, the guilty announcement of his release of this thought acknowledges its presence in his mind in the first place.
What this does is it transforms everything in his mind. His vision, his thought, his experience is all filtered through the mind of a writer. He is a storyteller and his journey is a log of potential pieces individually or a potential story in itself. He can speak of the hitchhiking. He can talk about the different cars he sees, as he seems to pay special attention to the detail of the vehicles he rides in. He can tell of the different cities and stops he makes where he most seems to pay attention to the types of women he encounters there which is natural for a man his age writer or not.
The things that are most interesting looking through the eyes of a writer are the people he meets. They are al characters in one sense or another they have these details that genuinely separate them from one another as he has his experiences with them. The drivers are a utility, but they are all from different walks of life. Young businessmen, truckers, trailer drivers from Minnesota, ten gallon hat classic westerners and small hat wearing people with a purpose of their own on the road. It highlights an interesting point in travel and that is that everyone one meets along the way is either someone on a journey themselves, or someone that can draw the traveler into the new place and teach them something, give them some experience. They all turn into stories to a writer.
The other side are the people he encounters that seem to be experiencing in one way or another the same thing he is. Fellow travelers 'on the road' making their way somewhere for all the different reasons we have spoken about in class. Looking for work, for friends, for family or just traveling to keep themselves moving. The first person he is on the road with is Eddie. One of the reasons the reader can tell that Sal tells his life as a story is that even in relaying his travels he saves some for a separate piece. He says that he will tell the reader another time why he liked Eddie so much, and it makes one press on to find out why.
The description he gives of the people on the truck bed make them into characters weather he means to or not. Again, it is the same sort of vision through the eyes of a writer that maybe make them come to life as people. The detail, the characteristics all give them a story of their own. he pays so much attention, and Kerouac is sure to relay tot he reader the intimate sort of listening ability of Sal as he observes the travelers. It is as though Sal's travel and adventure do not necessarily only revolve around the experience he has but also in the experiences of those he meets. That is certainly an interesting perspective gained by looking at travel through the eyes of a writer and storyteller

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