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Prof Pat Swenson

Sierra Tower 812

Phone: 818.677.3410

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links



Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Humanities Program

Jerome Richfield Hall 253
Phone: 818.677.3431

Humanities Program Website

On the Road by Jack Kerouac - Discussion Guide

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Characters

Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty, Carlo Marx, Marylou, Ed Dunkel, Galatea Dunkel, Remi Boncoeur, Lee Ann, Sal's Aunt, Chad King, Tim Gray, Roland Major, Camille, The Rawlinses, Rita Bettencourt, Old Bull Lee, Elmer Hassel, Jane Lee, Lucille, Denver D. Doll, Terry, Rickey, Ponzo, Johnny, Hingham, Slim Gaillard, Roy Johnson, Inez, Stan Shephard, Victor

Conflict

Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.

Theme/Motifs/Symbols

1950s - A Changing America: The Emergence of a Separate and Definable Youth Culture (the restless and idealistic Beat Generation)

The American Dream: Sal's Journey for Happiness and Meaning

Search for Religion/Fall from Grace

Disillusionment & Non-Conformity: Fighting Conventional Falsehoods of Suburban Life (materialism, prosperity)

Improvisation: A Way of Life Free from Constraints (references to poetry and jazz)

Stream of Consciousness Narration -- A Challenge to Traditional Prose

The American Landscape: The Road Trip Across America (regionalism and diversity)

Journey vs. Destination: Living Every Day

The Reckless Craze for Sex (and sexuality), Drugs, Alcohol, Women, Music

Public reaction to "On the Road" - 1950s & Today