What does the road mean in "Easy Rider"? How was this conveyed to you as a viewer?
It is impossible to discuss the meaning of the road in "Easy Rider" without using the word freedom. The movie is set on classic American highway and even Captain America's jacket and bike are decorated with the American flag, making the word impossible to not bring up. However, it also represents life's journey for our main characters. In order to get to where you want to go, a person needs to go on a directed path and, almost always, things get in the way and slow you down. In our character's journey those things are imprisonment and hitchhikers, as well as southern hostility toward anyone different. Captain America and Billy want to get to New Orleans and then Florida because they finally have money, but just because you know where you want to be does not mean that you can just be there; you cannot take shortcuts because in life there aren't any. This is made clear to a viewer through the constant mention of New Orleans. The fact that that is their destination is nearly beaten to death from being brought up so much yet we still have to watch the long journey through an immense number of video montages of them on the road. It is tedious to watch essentially the same video montage over and over again when we know that the end result is going to be death for our characters, it's almost pointless. However, I believe the director was trying to show that, just like in life, the journey to wherever a person is going is not always going to be exciting, sometimes it's just about enjoying the view.