Study Guide

Desolation Angels Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Desolation Angels.
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Desolation Angels Summary & Study Guide Description

Desolation Angels Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac.

Jack Kerouac writes many books that are autobiographical with thinly veiled references to famous cohorts such as Alan Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William Burroughs. Desolation Angels follows the same pattern, detailing the rise of the poets of the Beat Generation.

Kerouac is Jack Duluoz, a fire lookout on Desolation Peak in northwest Washington state. The job was a choice that Duluoz made in order to give himself the opportunity to be silent, write, and uncover the truths of the universe. Much is written about discoveries made on the mountain and the realization that one cannot marry a life of solitude while having worthwhile experiences in the real world.

After the fire season is over, Duluoz returns to San Francisco, heart of the Beat movement and current residence of his fellow poets. The group reunites for sprees of conversation and drunken mayhem before Duluoz heads to his second most loved destination, Mexico. In Mexico, Duluoz meets up with an old friend who is involved in philosophy and is a completely dependent on morphine to the point of being an invalid. The other poets join Duluoz in Mexico, which both delights and saddens him. After the Beats have done a small tour of Mexico City, it is decided that it is time to go back on the road and go home to New York.

Back in New York, the famed poet Irwin convinces Duluoz to make connections in the literary world and share the work that has been hidden in boxes and desk drawers from San Francisco to New York. Duluoz finally acquiesces and his first novel, On the Road, is published.

As time goes on, each of the main poets gets published and realizes success they never thought attainable. The Beat Generation finally influences American culture in a way none thought was possible.

The story follows the poets through their individual trials, tribulations and triumphs as seen by Duluoz. Torrid love affairs, mad international road trips, drug/alcohol fueled writing frenzies and self-realizations create memorable characters that are made even more memorable because the story is true.

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