Litkicks Message Board Archive

Just Finished My First Beat Book

Posted to WritersAndGenres

On the Road. Can't believe I never read a beat book til now. I did a fair amount of reading through these litkick pages, and decided it was time for Kerouac. The consensus seems to be this is a road book. Most certainly it is, but from what I've read i think people miss the point. It's a love story. The road is the frame, the vehicle upon which to hang the love story, but to me it's all about Sal feeling a void in his life, and the void is filled by Dean, not by the road. He would have followed Dean to a monastery if that's where he was going From their Mexico leg:

'We made a turn and never saw them again, and they were still running after us. "Ah, this breaks my heart!" cried Dean, punching his chest. "How far do they carry out these loyalties and wonders! What's going to happen to them? Would they try to follow the car all the way to Mexico City if we drove slow enough?"

"Yes," I said, for I knew.'

Sal can't stay away, he has to follow. Is it to fill the void? No, because he only goes on the road with or to see Dean. He wants to sleep with Mary Lou because that's the closest he can get to Dean.