Jack Kerouac Writing Styles in On the Road

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The characters in On the Road travel through countless cities across the United States and Mexico. Major portions of the novel take place in New York City, Denver, San Francisco, southern California, New Orleans, and Mexico. Although Sal's constant traveling gives some of his place descriptions a generic feeling, many of his depictions are vivid. For example, when he first arrives in Mexico City, he sees:

thousands of hipsters in floppy straw hats and long-lapeled jackets over bare chests padded along the main drag, some of them selling crucifixes and weed in the alleys, some of them kneeling in beat chapels next to Mexican burlesque shows in sheds. Some alleys were rubble, with open sewers, and little doors led to closet-size bars stuck in adobe walls. You had to jump over a ditch to get your drink, and in the bottom of the ditch was the ancient lake...

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This section contains 1,023 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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.