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The Quest For Identity In On The Road In Jack Kerouacs On The Road the protagonists embark upon a long arduous quest for human identity Their aim is to uncover who they truly are where they fit in the scheme of things and what the meaning of life is They articulate this desire by speaking during the novel of the search for IT IT being human identity This IT is an intangible thing something that holds a different meaning for every individual It encompasses all the things humans yearn for - life answers the meaning of the universe happiness enlightenment self-fulfillment beatification as articulated by Kerouac On the Road is the story of a desperate search for IT in which the protagonists finally come to realize that IT is unattainable and time cannot be defied The human search for IT is never-ending Even when we know that the search is virtually impossible that IT is unreachable that our longing will never be satisfied we go on looking Some people search for IT through purchasing innumerable material items some follow a religion some turn to music art and literature and some frantically travel the world longing to experience that something that will define and enlighten them Throughout history musicians artists writers actors scientists and other prominent individuals have been deeply absorbed with the human desire to locate IT Many have concluded that without IT life is empty and futile - some even going so far as to suggest that IT is non-existent and therefore life is meaningless The worlds revolve like ancient women gathering fuel from vacant lots Eliot 195424 Throughout On the Road the protagonist Sal Paradise and his friends refuse to accept this notion driven by the belief that IT does exist and that they will somehow find it by journeying from place to place by experiencing the effects of alcohol and drugs by searching for some alternate way of living
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