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Coming Full Circle in Blue Highways

In his traveling diary, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon takes a trip to various destinations of unknown worth. His American back roads tour is characterized by the pattern of taking a journey that follows a circle. Least Heat Moon’s circular journey is both literal and spiritual. His travels circle the nation, and he gathers history and personality from all corners of America. More importantly, however, Least Heat Moon sets out to fully explore and find himself. He provides the audience with the simple explanation of the circular nature of his journey because “following a circle would give a purpose

Forgotten People of the Blue Highways

Forgotten People of the Blue Highways

Journeying along the back roads of the blue highways of the road maps, William Least Heat Moon discovers the forgotten people of America in Blue Highways. In the beginning, his trip seems to be motivated by anger and disillusion. But when readers look deeper into the story, they see that Least Heat Moon focuses the attention on how to “climb out of a world which he realized was impersonal and materialistic” (Lyons 63). By avoiding the large cities, he focuses his attention on the forgotten civilizations. His ability to convey feelings with his storytelling doesn’t commercialize the people or the stories. According to one critic, “Least Heat Moon has the judgment to step aside and let them tell their own often remarkable stories in their own words” (Perrin, 858). By mapping out his route, Least Heat Moon goes full circle from his hometown of Columbia Missouri to Othello, New Jersey, and back. Feeling as if his life is going nowhere, Least Heat Moon starts his journey in the middle of America.

Throughout the novel, t…

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