Of the attitudes revealed and formed by the American people of the post-World War II age, the most outstanding and significant one that stands out in On the Road is that which is carefree and action orientated. This train of thought is contrary to that of those Americans from before, who, unlike Sal, Dean, and so many others, believed in living a life consisting of conservatism and stability. Many things took place towards the end of World War II, such as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a growing distrust of the Soviet Union. These events are among those that had the people of America thinking that their lives as they know it could end at any point in time—thoughts that led to their carefree and action orientated lifestyles; after all, if in fact there are only few days left in one’s existence, doesn’t it make that much more sense to enjoy those times left on Earth and not worry about the future? On the Road encompasses these ideas, takes you along, and allows you to see the people and the situations of America in a time immediately following World War II; how people lived, and how, at least in Sal’s case, people changed.
Having this Second World War behind them, Americans now had different worries pestering at their lives. For one thing, even though it was almost a decade behind them, memories and thoughts of the Great Depression still lingered in the minds of many Americans. Scared of inflation and seeing as one of the main reasons America were able to get out of such a ser...
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...n soil, aliens or Satanists. He proceeds with his life without consequences and without worry, only dealing with problems that occur along the way. He is the epitome of the “carefree, action orientated lifestyle.” In the end, however, Sal realizes that Dean, with all his quirks and excitements, really did not care for anyone’s well being but his own. Sal realizes that there’s more to life than just pleasing yourself and that he wanted to settle down once again with someone he loved to share happiness and memories with that person, and that in the end is what people are really searching for. The Beat generation is exciting, but in the long run it fails to satisfy the desires of most people.
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