Neil Peart's Ghost Rider: Loneliest Road in America, Chapter Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1234 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Ghost Rider is Neil Peart's account of his 55,000-mile motorcycle journey throughout Canada, the United States, and Central America. His destination-less trip was prompted by a dual tragedy: the deaths of his wife and teenage daughter, less than one year apart. Peart went on hiatus, with only his motorcycle, some reading material, and a notebook for company. Ghost Rider encompasses everything from Peart's emotional states of mind, his encounters with strange and interesting characters, and in Chapter Six, dealing with border crossings, overpriced meals, and other grievances. As a result, "The Loneliest Road in America," includes ample social commentary by the drummer and lyricist of the rock band Rush. Moreover, in Chapter Six, Peart tells how the book got its name: "The phantoms I carried with me, the way the world and other people's lives seemed insubstantial and real, and the way I myself felt alienated, disintegrated, and unengaged with life around me. 'Oh yes,' I thought, 'that's me all right. I am the ghost rider,'" (104). In fact, based on "The Loneliest Road in America," the title of Peart's book makes complete sense. Coupled with its musical allusion, Ghost Rider describes Peart's state of mind as he penned this work. Although the deaths of his wife and daughter had initially motivated the author to embark on a solitary journey, Ghost Rider is not a sentimental work. Rather, throughout Chapter Six, Peart allows the ghosts of his past tell their own tales. His sorrow and grief linger in the background as ghosts would. The travelogue can therefore remain solidly focused in the present moment and Peart does not need to invoke the spirits of those who have passed. Instead, the people who he meets, the various subcultures he encounters, and the scenic splendor of the natural world reveal their own secrets and spiritual lives to the reader. A thorough reading of "The Loneliest Road in America" proves that Peart's writing is strong, full of lyrical description, humor, and enough underlying emotional appeal to drive the narrative forward.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Neil Peart's Ghost Rider: Loneliest Road in America, Chapter 6 Assignment

Memoirs can be easily bogged down by emotionality and dull recounting of meaningless moments, which is why publishers tend to steer clear of the genre in general. However, "The Loneliest Road in America" does not fall into the typical traps that memoir or travelogue writers often fall into. In fact, one of the appeals of Peart's style is his cynical attitude, his willingness to critique North American culture and some of its senseless institutions. He does so unabashedly and unapologetically but with ample humor to soften the blow. For example, he describes "Women in their 50s and 60s dressing, grooming, and acting like the girls they imagined they still were, though the passing decades might have left them wrinkled, coarsened, jaded," (105). What could be interpreted as misanthropy is tempered by Peart's frankness, his downright honesty that drives the chapter forward. Moreover, Peart's social commentary and his cynicism parallel motorcycle culture as well as the image of the lone rider. The lone rider is one of the most poignant symbols of American culture: its rugged individualism and its self-reliance. The very nature of motorcycle riding begs for a strong independent spirit unafraid of societal norms, and Peart demonstrates such traits in his writing. If he had broken the traditional image of rugged independence by becoming sentimental, he would not be a believable writer and would surely not deserve to call himself the "ghost rider." Thus, when Peart asserts that he is the ghost rider, he does not at all seem arrogant or pretentious. His being a drummer for one of the most famous rock bands doesn't hurt, either.

Peart's style throughout "The Loneliest Road in America" is engaging, conversational, and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/neil-peart-ghost-rider-loneliest-road/90350.