My article explores the implications of rapid movement in Jack Kerouac's On the Road both on a literary and a political level, while drawing on Paul Virilio's work on speed and acceleration. The article examines the nature of the main characters' impetus for perpetual motion and discusses the ambiguity of their desire for speedy driving. Considering the significance of mobility within the cultural context of Cold War America, I investigate the influence of speed on identity formation in the novel. I subsequently look at the impact of both accelerated and decelerated movement on plot and narrative structure, and I explore the political implications of speed as reflected in the protagonists' interactions with agents of civilian power.

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