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The Subterraneans Themes

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Subterraneans.
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Themes

Co-Dependency

"Co-dependence" is a buzz word of the eighties and nineties but the term aptly applies to the characters in Jack Kerouac's "The Subterraneans," which was written in the late 1950s. Needy people tend to seek each other out. One plays the "enabler" to the other who is the addict or the emotionally dependent one. But just like yin and yang, the two complete each other albeit in an unhealthy way. There is a plethora of examples of co-dependency in this work.

Leo, the main character, has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He is a failure in life - a "wannabe" writer who doesn't even own a typewriter (1958's version of a PC). He doesn't seem to write for anyone including himself. To disguise his inability to live his dream when he returns to his home town, he seeks out his old friends who are just like...

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This section contains 1,117 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Subterraneans Study Guide
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The Subterraneans 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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