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On the Road

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Analysis: What’s Up With the Title?

Main character Sal Paradise spends about, oh, let’s see…99.9% of his time traveling on the road. And the other 0.1% of the time he’s wishing he could be on the road. On the surface, the title describes exactly what’s going on, but if you want to get all English-majory (which we feel like doing about once a week), you could say it also describes Sal’s ethos and the ethos of the whole Beat Generation that Kerouac represents with this book: their restlessness, dissatisfaction, longing for something and somewhere else.

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