The Journey in American Literature

4 April 2015
A discussion of the theme of “journey” in three famous works of American literature.

This paper examines works by William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Mark Twain. “As I Lay Dying,” “On the Road,” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are discussed in terms of their common theme of the “journey.” In each story, the characters are analyzed and shown to undergo growth and development which enables them to achieve their goals.
“As I Lay Dying is a representation of the Bundren family’s search to Jefferson to bury their dead matriarch. The novel explores the nature of sorrow, community, and family where among people Addie fought against the journey threats of flood and fire (As I Lay Dying: Commentary).
The book On the Road by Jack Kerouac’s explores an alluring, sincere and emotional story of a friendship and four trips across America. The narrator in the story is Sal Paradise who is a young novelist-to-be living with his aunt in Paterson, New Jersey. As most of his friends were out west already, he on invitation of a college friend went to live with him in San Francisco, as well as went on a journey and visited Denver to meet his crazy friend Dean Moriarty (Literary Kicks).

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain is about a young boy called Huck who was in quest of freedom and adventure. The shores of the Mississippi River provide the backdrop for the complete book. The book explores the nature, freedom and during his journey he leaned many things from his surroundings (Book Rags).”

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