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On the Road Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On the Road.
This section contains 1,178 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our On the Road Study Guide

Themes

Friendship

There are entire paragraphs listing the names of Sal Paradise's friends in On the Road. The nature of friendship is an integral theme of the novel. Sal, being a good-natured person, has a diverse collection of friends. Some are artistic types, such as the bizarre poet Carlo Marx. Others, like Old Bull Lee, are wildly eccentric. Surprisingly enough, Sal even has some ordinary, everyday friends, like Chad King. Sal also has many brief yet memorable friendships on the road. Of course, the most important friendship in the novel is between Sal and Dean Moriarty.

The powerful bond between Sal and Dean drives the story. Soon after Dean arrives in New York City, Sal becomes addicted to Dean's effervescent personality. Sal recognizes that Dean is manipulating him, but Dean's relentless energy captivates him:

As we rode in the bus in the weird phosphorescent void of the Lincoln Tunnel we...

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This section contains 1,178 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our On the Road Study Guide
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On the Road from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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