The Nomadic War Machine in Jack Kerouac’s Vanity of Duluoz and On the Road


This study inquiries into Jack Kerouac’s Vanity of Duluoz (1968) and On the Road (1957) from the perspective of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s nomadic war machine. It shifts from a rigorous scrutiny of Vanity of Duluoz for its general account of the Duluoz legend, Kerouac’s alter ego, to the study of On the Road for its more specific narrative of a certain period in Kerouac’s life. Being an iconic figure of rebellion and non-conformity in capitalist America during the postwar era, Kerouac’s literary works have a certain social and political magnitude that falls within the discourse of deconstructing orthodoxy and dogma. The study elucidates how Kerouac’s characters subvert the social norms and the state’s institutions in order to break free from pre-structured beliefs. The thesis of the article is to corroborate that such non-conformity and insubordination, exemplified in Kerouac’s autobiographical works, align with the nomadic characteristic of Deleuze and Guattari’s war machine. By extension, it aims at presenting Kerouac as the Deleuzoguattarian nomad who creates nomadic characters that deterritorialize post-war America from within.


Sonia Kherif and Samira Al-Khawaldeh


Deleuze and Guattari, deterritorialization, Kerouac, nomad, war machine.