On the Road Essay

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In the following excerpt, Vopat defends Kerouac against critics who deem him unworthy of consideration as an important American writer.

Nothing has been published about Jack Kerouac for seven years. Most of what has been written is either hostile or condescending or both. While it may perhaps be true, as Melvin W. Askew suggests, that to speak of Jack Kerouac in the same breath with Melville, Twain and Hawthorne is to leave a smirch on the configuration of classic American literature, Kerouac has, as they have, provided an enduring portrait of the national psyche; like Fitzgerald, he has defined America and delineated American life for his generation. Certainly, Kerouac is not a great writer, but he is a good writer, and has more depth and control than his critics allow. On the Road is more than a crazy wild frantic embrace of beat life; implicit in Kerouac's portrayal...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 4,188 words
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Buy the On the Road Study Guide
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On the Road from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.