ON THE ROAD The US on-the-road theme The US on-the-road generation The US novel On the Road (see following file)
Existential experience for those who choose to travel in order to react against the restlessness and unsatisfaction deriving from daily routine and securities. Travelling implies accepting the possibility of unpredictable encounters and situations so as to test oneself and to acquire a deeper knowledge of the world and of oneself It is also a spiritual journey/adventure since, involving different experiences, usually imples a deep change in the traveller.
The United States originates from a journey First English colonies in northern America (i.e. Pilgrim Fathers, 1620). New England: land of opportunities and rebirth The Frontier myth/Go west incitement : the journey in the journey. Once settled in the new land, the Northern Americans went west to pursue their happiness in unknown lands. Frontier= the edge of the settled country where unlimited free land was available and, consequently, unlimited opportunity Wild West Frontier: WEST portrayed as open space and as the effective place of happiness and freedom GOING WEST/ADVANCING means to conquer unexplored lands (this idea is also reflected in national sports).
Game philosophy: Gradual conquest of the land/field: Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opponents end zone for a touchdown (worth 6 points) or by kicking the ball from the playing field through the raised vertical posts in the back of that end zone for a field goal (worth 3 points). American football players are in some cases allowed to throw the ball forward whilst in rugby league fortward passing is always illegal.
Game Philosophy: Gradual conquest of the land/court Each team tries to score by shooting a ball through a hoop or basket. When a player secures a rebound or gets a steal and immediately sprints or passes the ball quickly down court, a slang term is used to describe this succesful offensive play strating at one end of the cort and finishing at the opposite one: COAST TO COAST. It is a sort of revival of the American frontier myth and of the coast-to-coast migration
1926-1985 (as of 1985 replaced by the Interstate Highway System) From Chicago to Santa Monica, through the States of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Overall length: 3.755 km (2.347 miles). Now known as "Historic Route 66. Road of many small family-run (mama-and-papa) enterprises
Road of the emigrations towards the Wild West …. towards Eldorado, California, the beaches and the cinema of Hollywood … towards the pursuit of happiness JOURNEY = ESCAPE Restless life and wanderings across America through bus rides and hitchhiking escapades… experiencing any kind of freedom and rejecting any kind of restrictions Pursuing a natural, spontaneous and authentic way of life.
Fathers Representative the middle-class Conformism and good- manners Uniformity to mass society Children The Rebel and the Drifter Mood of irriverence and rebellion quest for self-expression and liberation Individualism
The 50 s (The Tranquilizzed Fifties) Sudden blossoming of mass prosperity: Families have cars, phones, washing-machines, refrigerators, their own houses in the suburbia and go shopping in the new shopping malls Education bigger affluence in universities and college which receive the government financial support. Full employment, good wages, public services, technical improvements
The 50 s : social phenomena CONSUMERISM Television as revolution Change in style with popular series and quiz shows. 1950s advertisement for Coca-Cola
The 50s: the young and their tastes Great interests in music, fashion, drinks and vehicles. Working-class adolescents spending money on their pleasures. Leisure activities dancing and listening to rocknroll. Poster for Rebel without a cause (1955)
Invented by Kerouac in 1948. Introduced to the public by an article on New York Times Magazine. BEAT = 1. tired reaction against capitalism and Puritan middle-class values. 2. beatific Kerouacs reverence for certain aspects of Catholicism and Buddhism. The term Beat Generation A beatnik rocknroll compilation
Suffix -nik borrowed from Sputnik, a Russian satellite. (1951) Their main features: illegal way of life, acting on first impulses. They advocated escapism and created underground culture. The beatniks... A group of Beatniks, 1950s.
Spiritual and sexual liberation. Liberation from censorship. Decriminalization of the use of marijuana. The evolution of rhythm and blues into rock and roll. The spread of ecological consciousness. Respect for land and indigenous peoples and creatures The Earth is an Indian thing....and their influence upon artistic movements The Hip, a 1986 book about the Beat Generation
The Road in movies The Road in music The Road in painting (roadside landscape)
How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man? Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand? Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly Before theyre forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind, The answer is blowin in the wind. Quante strade deve percorrere un uomo prima che tu possa chiamarlo uomo? E quanti mari deve navigare una bianca colomba prima di dormire sulla sabbia? E quante volte devono volare le palle di cannone prima di essere proibite per sempre? La risposta, amico mio, soffia nel vento, la risposta soffia nel vento. Blowin in the wind (Bob Dylan)
Starting from the Sixties, a widespread countercultural movement grew, mixing opposition to war, black nationalism and feminism.
The 60s: the young Sensitive to their age spiritual problems Commitee for nuclear disarmament and pacifist marches ( 1959-1975: Vietnam War) Mood of irriverence and rebellion university occupations and demonstrations. A student demonstration