No Pie in the Sky : The Hobo As American Cultural Hero in the Works of Jack London, John Dos Passos, and Jack Kerouac
No Pie In The Sky examines the treatment of the hobo in the works of Jack London, John Dos Passos and Jack Kerouac. London saw the hobo as a dispossessed worker, an inevitable by-product of capitalism, but his tone is buoyant and hopeful. He believes that Socialism's triumph will bring an end to the injustice of the capitalist system. Dos Passos' tone is pessimistic and elegiac as he chronicles the defeat of the hoboes' union-the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the triumph of the money machine. Flight is the dominant motif in Kerouac, as big government, big business and big unions impose a stultifying conformity. Faced with atomic annihilation, his hoboes turn inward, seeking refuge in Zen Buddhism and the built-in bomb shelter of the human psyche.
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January 15, 2001
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