Notes on On the Road Themes

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On the Road Topic Tracking: Dean Moriarty

Dean 1: Dean Moriarty makes his first dramatic appearance in the book, which centerings on the narrator's involvement with him. He immediately interests people. Salvatore Paradise is at once fixated with him, as is Carlo Marx. His opening behavior is frenetic and charismatic at the same time.

Dean 2: Dean is a sort of social untouchable whose presence Sal's more conventional friends find undesirable. Sal seems to make no attempt to fix this problem but instead tries to walk a thin line between the two groups.

Dean 3: Dean is apparently very attractive to the opposite sex, or at least charismatic enough to carry on more than one relationship at a time. Dean has woman problems throughout the book and many of his problems are created by, or a result of his relations with in women.

Dean 4: Even though he ostensibly went on the road because he was interested in following Dean, he only speaks to Dean for a short amount of time while he is in Denver. Dean's attentions are diverted between his women and Carlo;, there is no time for Sal, even if he were more interested.

Dean 5: While Sal has been away, Dean has kept up his crazy pace of life.

Dean 6: Sal has not seen Dean for a year and his behavior has not changed in the slightest. He is once again abandoning a wife for a mistress. Nevertheless, Sal is admittedly infected by Dean's energy and after traveling from New York to Virginia three times, he still wants to travel on the road.

Dean 7: Dean's behavior becomes increasinglycontinues to become odd as he tries to get Sal to have sex with Marylou.

Dean 8: Dean is less of a central figure while Old Bull Lee is around, but Sal admires him in every thing including athletics.

Dean 9: Dean's crazy behavior continues as they speed across the country. His suggestion that they all strip naked and his willingness, perhaps even eagerness, to run off under the pretense of mugging someone, are examples of his increasing devolution.

Dean 10: Dean abandons his ex-wife and best friend as soon as they enter the city limits. Marylou points this out to Sal, but somehow he accepts it and treats it as an oversight rather than a slight.

Dean 11: Dean tries to play the part of a responsible husband/father by getting a job but he can't quite do it. Even though he is willing to go out on the town with Sal, he seems unconcerned when Sal leaves.

Dean 12: Dean's recent incarnation is frightening. He does not heed the cries of his wife or child. He has been stalking his ex -wife, and his thumb is badly infected from hitting Marylou. Even though Sal recognizes this, he is still willing to pay for him to go cross- country with him. This is the first, and one of the few, moments when Dean realizes that there is something wrong with the way he is behaving. This moment, however, is brief.

Dean 13: Dean has been abandoned by everyone. Galatea frankly chastises him and not even Sal can defend him.

Dean 14: For the second time there is strife between Sal and Dean, when Dean refers to Sal's older age. This time, however, Dean has no one else. His behavior is still foolish and his situation is more desperate when one of his few known relatives comes to see him only to disown him.

Dean 15: Dean really loses his mind in this section. He steals multiple cars even after a police officer has checked into the barr. He even steals a police officer's car. He breaks somebody else's record and collapses drunk when it is all over.

Dean 16: Dean's insane behavior continues. In his mad race for Chicago, he takes neither personal safety nor property into consideration as he admittedly thinks only of girls.

Dean 17: After his car-wrecking stint of madness in Chicago, Dean meets yet another woman he loves and plans to abandon yet another wife.

Dean 18: Dean has become even more odd. Although he has seemingly settled down, he has settled down into a strange almost friendless world. He pays Sal's aunt back the money for a speeding ticket. This which surprises her, but does not indicate a total metamorphosis.

Dean 19: Dean returns to his crazy ways and buys a car to drive cross- country and join Sal in Mexico. No one can compete with his frenzieds energy. He has come under the pretense of getting and official divorce from Camille in Mexico where it is cheaper.

Dean 20: Dean once again abandons Sal in a far away place. This time he leaves Sal in a state of sickness. Sal has lost his faith in Dean just like everyone else.

Dean 21: The final separation between Dean and Sal happens when Sal has met a girl with whom he plans to stay and lifehe has calmed down. Dean has left Inez and a third child and is back with Camille. He left her to cross the country and bring Sal to San Francisco, but when he ges to New York, he goes back on one of his crazy rampages.

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