At surface level, the story is a series of adventures that play out across the backdrop of the American landscape; in essence, On the Road is a ceaseless search for meaning. Hidden between the sex, philosophy, and drug experimentation that make up much of the book's subject matter is a quest to understand what can be known, who can be trusted, and an honest admittance of the complexities of life, love and friendship. On the Road is as much about spirituality as it is about reveling in the joys and challenges of an uncensored, unapologetic, immediate life. Kerouac is known for his interest in the dharma, and these themes are embedded in all of Kerouac's works. As with any book that could be said to define a generation, the richness and lasting legacy of this literary gem is evident in the breadth of resources still circulating around Kerouac's brilliantly captured moment in American history. See below for a vast web of connections that begin with On the Road and end only when one stops exploring.
1. Learn about the people that defined the beat generation, many of whom are primary characters given pseudonyms in On the Road: William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Joyce Johnson, Neal Cassady, Lucien Carr, Carolyn Cassady, and others.
3. Go to The Beat Museum in San Francisco.
4. Read about the original scroll and Kerouac's methodology at The New York Times.
5. Marvel at the beat generation in comic form.
7. Try train hopping (using your imagination, or assume all liability).
8. Go on a road trip, or
9. Channel the beat spirit of defiance and self-definition and opt for a very un-beat luxury road trip; rest easy, the only potential danger is over-indulgence.