On the Road Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the two central characters in On the Road, Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, on the following:

a. The idea of being on the road.

b. The role of their fathers in their lives.

c. Their attitudes toward women.

Essay Topic 2

Sal has views about different groups who were marginalized in mid-20th century America. What are his views on these groups? Are there any differences among categories of people? If so, why? Cite specific examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

Jazz music is an underlying theme in On the Road.

a. Describe the role of jazz in the Beat movement.

b. Describe how jazz influences how On the Road was written.

Essay Topic 4

In Des Moines, Sal experiences the distinction of the East of his youth and the West of his future.

a. What does the West represent to Sal?

b. Contrast his...

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