Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 3: 9/15-9/18

"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac
In class we talked about the line, "we know time." I didn't realize the repetition of this, but after analyzing it I became more and more intrigued into this theme of time.  On page 105, Dean says, "And then we'll all go off to sweet life, 'cause now is the time and we all know time." This is a time that is said over and over in different situations, but they all kinda mean a similar thing. Living life to the greatest was a characteristic of the Beat Generation and is a big deal for everyone in On The Road. During the Beat Generation, people recognized that life was limited and time isn't infinite.

Although I don't go around trying to live life to the fullest with drugs and other ways like the characters in this book, I really related to this theme because I always catch myself to try and do as much as possible. This isn't always the healthiest way to go through life because even though time is limited, some times you just need to slow down and truly emerge yourself in a moment. Rushing thought life is a mistake, but so it believing that time is infinite.

In juxtaposing the theme of time in On the Road and T. S. Eliot's poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, you can see the polar opposite views. Prufrock thinks time is infinite so he doesn't need to be decisive about how he spends his time. This is a sad way to view life, because it holds back Prufrock from ever going out to experience the wonderful parts of life, he just thinks about what he could do and doesn't act on it.

Mary Lou
The themes in On the Road are very interesting, but I also think theres some themes that rub me the wrong way. One of these themes is the role of women in the story. The event that really got my attention was when they were considering offering Mary Lou to a man. Even though they didn't act on their thoughts, just the thought of it is terrible. And I think this topic is still very relevant in todays society. Although women are getting treated more and more as equals, I think their is always that thought that crosses many minds of men just being the superior gender. As a women, I don't feel inferior to men, but it does cross my mind at time and I question myself based on being a women. For example, I am in the school of engineering and their is a very noticeable difference between the number of men vs. women. I do think its largely based on the difference in interests between the genders, but as a women in the field, I do feel like I have more to prove then the men. For a man, its normal to be in engineering and the rigor isn't as stressed to a man as it is to a women. In little ways, I think men always question me when I say I'm a computer science major. This obviously doesn't effect me very deeply like in Mary Lous situation, but I think its something to think about how the genders are treated differently even to this day.

Differences between the novel and film:

The movie was very difficult for me to comprehend. It didn’t seem to follow the same chronological order the book did so that was a major difference that really confused me while watching the movie. One of the first nights Sal and Dean are together in the movie, they talk about people who have “IT.” In the book, “IT” wasn’t talked about until part two, I think, so the fact that Sal and Dean get this deep so early in the movie caught me off guard.
One major difference I saw was in Carlo Marx’s character. Maybe it’s because I didn’t picture him how I saw him portrayed in the film. In the novel, I could tell Carlo had an infatuation with Dean, but I thought it was more a friendship kind of infatuation. The Benzedrine trips they took together gave me the impression they had a spiritual connection, but I didn’t see it how the movie portrayed it. The movie was very straightforward about Carlo being interested in Dean sexually. In one scene, Carlo talked about how him and Dean had sex and this really surprised me because when I was reading I couldn’t tell if they had been intimate or not and the film straight out told us very soon into the movie. In the film, I could sense Carlos jealousy when Dean was with other women. I didn’t pick up on this as much in the book.

Sal’s characterization was also different for me between the book and movie. When I was reading I saw Sal as a quiet follower who went with what everyone else was doing. When I was watching the movie, Sal seemed to be more powerful. He seemed more sure of himself in his actions dealing with alcohol and drugs. Although he was portrayed as a follower in the movie as well as the book, he seemed to have more confidence in himself in the movie. The whole point of Sal’s journeys was for him to find himself and it had less of an impact in the movie because he didn’t seem as lost as he is in the book.
The weather was also a big deal in the film, but when reading I didn’t have the impression that while they were on the road they were freezing in Dean’s car. The movie also showed Sal walking alone through a storm and I feel like this would be a big deal, but I don’t remember any emphasis on it in the book.
One difference I did like from the movie was that more of the boring traveling was left out. In some parts of the book, it felt like Sal’s travels were drawn out, but the movie cut these out. Obviously, because it’s a movie only the most essential details were kept in, but I think this shortening kept up the pace of the movie.
In the film, Stan isn’t included. This is a difference because it characterizes Dean differently. In the novel, having Stan accompany Sal and Dean to Mexico makes it less rude when Dean abruptly leaves Sal while he is sick. In the film, Stan isn’t there for Sal so when Dean leaves, Sal is all alone and sick in a place far away from home. Even though Dean is characterized as very egotistical, the movie really makes the viewer not like Dean because it shows he is a terrible friend to someone who’s always be there for him.

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