Jack Kerouac: The Town and the City

(1222 words)
  • R. J. Ellis (University of Birmingham)

The Town and the City traces the fortunes of the Martin family from 1935 to 1946, a period spanning the thirties depression, World War Two and its immediate aftermath. The Martin family is large: the father and mother (George and Marguerite) have eight children. In 1935 the eldest, Rose, is 21, Ruth is 18, Joe 17, Francis 15 (his twin, Julian, died when still “little”), Peter 13, Elizabeth 12, Charley 9 and Mickey 6. By the end of the novel these children are slightly over ten years older, except Charley (killed in Okinawa during World War Two), and are gathered together to bury George. The novel’s focus falls on just three of the children, Joe, Francis, and especially Peter. The fortunes of the mother and father …

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Citation:
Ellis, R. J.. "The Town and the City". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7955, accessed 21 September 2014.]