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On the Road
On the Road
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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Tools of Characterization
Old Bull Lee
The Spirit of The West
The Ghost of The Susquehanna
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On the Road Characters
Meet the Cast
Sal’s Relationship with DeanSal clearly makes Dean out to be a hero. A hero of the West, to be more specific. And both his hero and the West turn out to be, well, not that great at the end of...
Dean the IconOh, Dean, where do we start? To Sal you are "angel" and "devil," "Shrouded Traveler," "Holy Goof," "saint," "God," "Angel of Terror," "Soul of Beat," "con-man," and countless others. Y...
Marylou is Dean’s first and rather astute wife. She understands Dean and their relationship incredibly well. She remarks on his madness, saying that she loves him but can’t have him bec...
Stan is the third leg during Dean and Sal’s adventures in Mexico. It’s not that he isn't interesting or cool, it’s just that he pales in comparison to our narrator and flawed hero...
Camille is wife #2 for Dean, and the one he ends up with when the book ends, although we don’t have a lot of faith in his faithfulness. Interestingly, Sal remarks that she is Dean’s "be...
Let’s start with Carlo's name. Karl Marx was a political philosopher in the 1800’s who started Marxism. To make a very long story short, he said that capitalism would be overthrown by s...
Old Bull Lee
Drugs. Lots of drugs. That’s pretty much what comes to mind when we think of Old Bull Lee. That and the whole guru thing. Which is an interesting combination, when you think about it. He ente...
Jane, or more specifically her relation to Bull, is another example of love, or sex, or companionship, or whatever you want to call it, for Sal to examine. Sal, of course, has been running around l...
Remi’s most interesting appearance is at the end of the text, but to get there we have to understand the whole set up in Part I. Much to do with Sal and Remi focuses around women. Sal reveals...
Lee Ann is Remi’s girlfriend who is really concerned about money. Sal reveals that she’s only with Remi because she thought Remi was rich, and fights with him all the time for not havin...
Inez is Dean’s third wife. She is excited to meet Dean because he is a cowboy, which may seem silly until we remember that that’s what Sal liked so much about him way back in the openin...
Ed is an interesting fellow. He has visions, an odd relationship with Galatea, and he has more visions. Sal even calls him something along the lines of a saint. An unrecognized saint, but a saint n...
Victor seems to be around to illustrate the way Dean makes friends with everyone, regardless of barriers like language. Sal has a vision that Dean can communicate with Victor by psychic understandi...
Galatea is one of these typical On the Road women getting mistreated and loving her husband anyway. What’s most interesting about Galatea is the way that Sal sees her, or rather the evolution...
Terry is Sal’s girlfriend for a little while in the West. Like Sal, she needs companionship. She and Sal don’t get together because of any feelings for each other, but because of a mutu...
Chad is one of the gang in Denver in Part I, Chapter Six. Chad illustrates the war of factions between Dean/Carlo and, well, everybody else.
A killjoy member of the gang in Denver, Part I, Chapter Seven. Roland doesn’t like the rowdiness of Dean and his friends. He also writes a Hemingway-esque short story about the artsy types. Y...
Johnny is Terry’s son.
Rickey is Terry’s brother and a firm believer of not doing anything today that can be put off until tomorrow (such as earning enough money to not starve to death). He’s the proponent of...
The Irish hitchhiker that Sal meets in Part I, Chapter Three. Eddie is the guy that steals Sal’s shirt and demonstrates the transience of friendships formed on the road.
The Spirit of The West
A laughing cowboy Sal meets on the way to Denver in Part I, Chapter Three.
A sketchy dude that Sal meets while hitching a ride on the flatbed truck in Part I, Chapter Four. He and Dean dig Cheyenne together.
A nice hitchhiker that Sal meets in Part I, Chapter Four. He takes care of a younger boy.
The Ghost of The Susquehanna
Sal’s name for a little old man in Part I who is a little zany and teaches Sal that the East is as much wilderness as the West.
A woman Sal is thinking of marrying in Part II before Dean shows up and convinces him to go on the road again. She doesn’t like Sal spending time with his wild friends. Also, incidentally, sh...
Yes, she’s Sal’s aunt, and he lives with her for the brief moments when he’s actually at home in New York. We think the most interesting scene with her character is in Part II, Ch...
Dean’s hero. Rollo has a house on Long Island where they all party on New Year’s Eve, 1948.
A Jewish hitchhiker Sal and Dean pick up on the road. He has them drive to Testament.
The "orooni" guy. A musician (drums, vocals) who fascinates Dean. He is also one of the many momentarily believed to be God.
Dean and Sal's temporary "chauffer" in San Francisco.
The mother of the family Sal brings Dean to stay with in Denver in Part III, Chapter Six. She keeps saying that Dean reminds her of her wild husband that went away. Frankie is yet another sympathet...
Dean’s cousin, who used to be Dean’s alcohol and drug hero until he got religion. Sam is almost the anti-Dean, having taken the opposite trajectory. Dean is getting wilder, while Sam se...
Frankie’s daughter, and one of the many too-young girls that Dean lusts after and that Sal tries to protect. Sal and Dean’s interaction with Janet is a perfect example of what they each...
A waitress Dean fools around with in Part III, Chapter Eight. Having hung out with her for about an hour, he tells Sal that he wants to marry her as soon as he can divorce Camille. Beverly serves a...
As Sal said, this guy used to be "Dean’s older brother." They meet him momentarily in Part III, Chapter Eight, just long enough to note that he thinks the Cadillac is stolen. Ed reflects ever...
The first significant person that Sal meets after abandoning Dean in Part IV, Chapter Two. Henry fails to fill the hero role, however. Although he is similar to Dean in the jail sense, he doesnR...
Sal’s second wife that he marries in Part V. She is supposedly the woman he was always been looking for, but we never get to see in her the real soul connection that Sal has been seeking all...
Ray is the brother of Babe Rawlins. He chills out with the gang in Denver.
Babe Rawlins is Ray Rawlins's sister. She chills out with the gang in Denver.
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