Study Guide

Old Bull Lee in On the Road

By Jack Kerouac

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 enters the story during cross-country trip #2, and provides us with an interesting perspective of Dean: he’s going absolutely mad – Sal should get out while he still can. That’s his advice to Sal, and it makes sense to us, the reader. The fact that this incredibly sane advice comes from a drug addict says something: Dean's madness is really extreme. It also reminds us that Dean’s madness has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol – it’s his own stuff. And there seems to be no getting rid of it.