Notes on On the Road Themes

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On the Road Topic Tracking: Fatherhood

Father 1: Chad King's father is the first father mentioned in the story. Carlo Marx and Old Bull Lee are the really only real father figures for Sal and Dean. Dean's father was a hobo who never settled down and Sal's father is mentioned but once in passing during the story.

Father 2: Remi Boncoeur's step- father is another disappointing father figure. He lives a great distance away and comes only to visit and be taken out to dinner. Despite this, Remi feels pressured to impress him.

Father 3: Terry's estranged husband and father of her child is yet another delinquent father who is not only detached from his family, but he abuses his loved ones

Father 4: Carlo Marx acts as a sort of surrogate father for his circle of friends. He questions them and tries to get them to think about what they are doing, but he has no effect.

Father 5: Even though Old Bull Lee is a poor father to his own children, he attempts to act as a father figure to Sal and Ddean asking them what their motivations are and trying to guide them.

Father 6: This is the first and only mention of Sal's father in the novel. While there are multiple mentions of Dean's father, the narrator is silent about his.

Father 7: As Dean gets more desperate and an increasing numberamount of people reject him, he thinks about his father more and talks more about finding him..

Father 8: They talk about finding Dean's father again once they get to Denver. Dean's cousin Sam, who comes to write him off, has no news about his father. An old hobo tells him his father is in New England. Dean wants to find him. He is eager for some sort of connection.

Father 9: Dean's father gets in touch with him from prison. There is a parallel between Dean as a father and his own father. His father wants to see the children that Dean has left across the country. This fact does not prompt Dean to become a better father. Only Sal's aunt criticizes his negligence.

Father 10: Victor, although willing to go out with these strangers, shows off his child with pride, a child whose mother he lives with. All the men admire the child and this father who is so different when compared to Dean.

Father 11: In this last portion, after Dean has continues to be an irresponsible father, Sal compares Dean to his own father and suggests that he has become him.

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