Author Jack Kerouac, through the perspective of his later ego and narrator Jack Duluoz, maintains that literature can't touch the fullness of life. Life surrounds us, he writes, it overwhelms us in its enormity. Writing is, at best, an approximation of what really goes on in the world. At the peak of his alcohol-driven madness, Kerouac feels shame at his profession. He even vows to never write again (though, quite obviously, he changes his mind after the fact). Big Sur raises interesting questions about the purpose of writing, particularly the writing of confessional, autobiographical novels such as Big Sur. Is writing a self-serving process of introspection? Or is Kerouac thinking of his readers rather than himself? While these questions are never raised nor answered directly, Big Sur suggests them, particularly in the novel's final line: "There's no need to say another word."
The only effective communication in Big Sur is non-verbal.