Travels with Charley: In Search of America Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is John Steinbeck's view on the journey he is about to take?

Steinbeck's view on the journey he is about to take is that it is much the same as all journeys that anyone takes or has taken.

2. What urge has Steinbeck felt all his life?

Steinbeck has felt an urge to be somewhere else all his life, as a very young boy through adulthood, middle age and even now at 58 years of age.

3. What have older people always told Steinbeck?

Those people who are older than he is have always advised Steinbeck that he would outgrow his wanderlust over time. Steinbeck has decided that rather than waiting for old age to make travel impossible--and in that way grow out of it--he would give in to the urge to roam.

4. What are Steinbeck's requirements for this state of journeying--or bumdom as he calls it?

First, a traveler needs a reason for traveling, and for bums this reason can be anything whatsoever. Then the traveler needs to plan the trip in time and space, which is required since one lives in time and space. Finally, the traveler must decide upon directions and destinations.

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