At first glance, the novel On The Road and the film The Wall by Pink Floyd seem to have very little in common. The novel is a story about two young men, Sal and Dean, who travel the country in search of good times. The film is about a man, Pink, trapped in his life of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Upon closer inspection though, one can see that there are many common underlying themes. I will attempt to uncover and explain these themes in the context of this paper. I will examine these four themes: life is a battle, Claw your way through this disguise, freedom and just another brick I will begin by discussing the first theme: Life Is A Battle. Deans whole life has been a battle.
He has never had a place to call home or someone to depend on and take care of him. His father abandoned him and he spent his life searching for him. Dean traveled on railroad cars across the country. He was emotionally unstable. It is debatable as to why. It could have been the heavy drug abuse or a chemical imbalance in his brain. Dean was married to many women, although he was never able to say with these women very long. The story of his life was love em The second theme comes from a quote in the song In The Flesh by Pink Floyd.
…if youd like to find out whats behind these cold eyes youll have to claw your way through this disguise. All through the novel, Dean tried to be normal. He tried to settle down and marry and raise his multiple children. Each time though, he felt the itch and had to leave. Dean always had a suitcase with him, packed and ready to go…just sitting Pink was similar to Dean in some regards. He too was pretending to be someone that he was not.
In Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, the narrator, Sal Paradise offers up to us what seems to be a very optimistic view on life. He is forever singing the praises of how wonderful his adventures will be and his high expectations for the future. To Sal, the novel is defined by youthful exuberance and unabashed optimism for the new experiences that he sets out to find. A deeper look into the novel, ...
As an adult, Pink was a member of a successful music band. He lived a carefree lifestyle of sex, drugs and alcohol. To all around him, Pink seemed content to go on living this way. Inside though, he was miserable. It got to a point where he locked himself in a hotel A third theme in common between the two mediums is the theme of freedom. Dean had the open road. He has no responsibilities that he took care of.
He left his children and his women to To Pink, drugs were his freedom. Life on the road as a celebrity was too much and he needed an escape. However bleak the highs and lows were, it was an escape from reality. If only for a few hours whereas Dean escaped his reality for years, Finally, there is the issue of conformity. This is synonymous for becoming just another brick in the wall. The child in the film had to conform to expectations placed on him.
He had no choice in schooling or even health care as depicted in the scene with the doctor in the film. Sal had begun to conform to societys expectations in his youth. He joined the service, and started college. Dean, on the other hand, had no expectations to conform too. He had his own rules as he went and as they applied to him. In the end, Sal adopts Deans view on life and refuses to conform to society which says he should be married and have children.
The older Pink breaks the rules as well. He joins a rock and roll band and gets involved with lewd women and drugs. All three of them make their own rules and all three suffer As you can see from the example represented here, there are many common themes between On The Road and The Wall. Both On The Road and The Wall were taken to extremes in their actions to avoid becoming just another brick in the wall. While I believe that it is important to be true to yourself and your values, there is something to be said for those who take risks to find their own happiness regardless of what society thinks. Everyone has the right to be wild and crazy in their youth. It is how we learn from our mistakes and teach future generations.