The Dharma Bums Topics for Discussion

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Is the novel sexist in its portrayal of female characters?

Compare Ray Smith's sister with Japhy Ryder's sister. What do they have in common? What traits differentiate these two minor characters?

Ray states several times throughout the novel that lust leads only to death. Sometimes he means this metaphorically, but at other times he appears to mean it literally. Nevertheless, he actively participates in a scene of debauchery and lust when he has sex with Princess. What other conflicting character trains are present in Ray?

Page 174 of the narrative describes a traditional Chinese cartoon drawn in several panels. A young boy goes up a mountain and discovers an ox, which he tames and rides. Then, he abandons the ox and meditates. Next, he comes down the mountain, enlightened. The fourth panel is blank, and the fifth shows a blossoming tree. Then, the young boy is presented as...

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This section contains 389 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Dharma Bums Study Guide
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