On the Road by Jack Kerouac
“Inspite of our difference in character, he reminded me of some long lost brother - On the Road by Jack Kerouac introduction. ” (10). The fictional book, “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac is about two good friends Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty from the beat generation which are people’s stereotype in 1950’s and early 60’s to people who experiments in drugs, wears black, and explores jazz; traveled from east to west and Mexico in search for ecstasy and jazz. Although these characters; Sal and Dean, get along well they also have a lot of difference than similarities when it comes to their family’s role in their lives especially their fathers, and the way they treat and value their woman.
First, Sal and Dean have completely different ideas of being on the road, but Dean kind of became a tool to make Sal’s trip of traveling happen. “With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off”. According to Sal, he was also encouraged by Dean Moriarty, the perfect guy to travel along with, to go West then eventually to East and Mexico because Dean was actually born on the road and therefore used to the places they’re going to and have more experience than him when it comes to traveling.
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Sal’s idea of being on the road was also because he wanted to know Dean Moriarty better as a person not just because he’s planning to write a book about him but also build a good friendship with him, and surprisingly they became best friends that they never thought would happen. Dean Moriarty I can tell is an easy-go-lucky type of person he just travel for no apparent reason, but just to benefit his self with drugs and of course jazz, at one point at their trip searched for his father, and along with his life on the road are the girls who he built some kind of a relationship with.
Dean just go with everything that can possibly happen with his life on the road and deal with it later, unlike Sal which is a pretty organize person that plans and think about anything before he do it, an example is his idea of being on the road that just happened because of Dean Moriarty but their interest in traveling and discovering new things is the thing that they have in common.
Sal and Dean basically have more opposite views and ideas than similarities of being on the road but it made them know each other well and formed a stronger bond. Another matter that they have in common and opposite view of, is the role of their family especially their fathers in their lives. Dean Moriarty’s is in search of his beloved father Old Dean in Denver which shows how much Dean cherishes and miss his relationship with his father who’s in jail in Seattle.
“You know I recently wrote my old man in jail in Seattle— I got the first letter in years from him the other day… if I can send him the money he’ll come and live in New York—if he gets here. I never told you much about my sister but you know I have a sweet little kid sister; I’d like to get her and live with me too. ” (252). This quote say something nice about Dean’s character, I believe that he have a quality of being a family oriented kind of person, too.
He’s trying to put their family back together by giving extra effort to reach everyone in his family, although he knew that it’s impossible to happen, he also said that he likes to live with his sister as well. The hope, love, and fate are the only things that he’s holding on to, to believe that there’s still a chance to be with his family, and the role of his father in his life is being the strength giver. Dean is in some ways doing the role of his father, knowing that he’s the one who’s doing something for their family.
While Sal Paradise on the other side doesn’t have a father to reunite with because his Old Pop passed away but he considers his aunt a family, he was living with her, in his aunt’s apartment and his aunt was the one who’s wiring him money while he was away on his trips . “Isn’t it true that you start your life a sweet child believing in everything under your father’s roof? Then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wrecked and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life. ” (On the Road Introduction hand out).
This quote from Sal mean something about the connection of his life with his father which means that he was never with his father who was suppose to guide him and teach him how to deal with life and realized that he’s now is lost and hope that his father is beside him to lean on and ask help and guidance when he’s going through darkness in his life, anyway his aunt is there to replace the role of his father that’s why Sal value his relationship with his aunt because she’s the only family he have and can rely on, he can just call on her whenever he needed something and at some point Dean also lived with Sal’s aunt while he was away, and that shows how Dean is also a family with them.
Salvatore Paradise and Dean Moriarty’s family’s role created a big impact on their lives which was a similarity that both of them can relate to. Lastly, their attitude towards women is comparable, in the way how they treat them. Dean Moriarty is a type of lover who’s not serious in relationships and would dump and hurt them whenever he wants to. “So now he was three times married, twice divorced, and living with his second wife. ” (305). Dean was married first with Marylou, then with Camille, and the last one was Inez, therefore proves that he’s playing with his girls emotions and not taking marriage seriously, although he’s married with Inez he was living with his ex wife Camille which is strange.
I think that he just don’t want to lose Camille but at the same time wants to have a reason to stay with Inez, too; unlike Sal who’s a kind of guy who will stay committed to one person and would not settle down with one unless he is sure of the girl he loves. Sal once had Terry and they were inseparable but because he can’t provide Terry and her son’s needs, Sal left them and fly back to New York, Sal loved her but then she’s not the perfect girl for him. Sal treats women with respect, so he deserves the love that he’s been searching for. “The girl with pure and innocent dear eyes that I had always searched for and for so long… We agreed to love each other madly. In winter we planned to migrate to San Francisco. ” (306).
Finally Sal found the girl that he’s been searching for which is Laura, so they decided to move to San Francisco and settle down, he didn’t think twice about being with her because he knows that she is the one. Sal in return will give his heart whole-heartedly to Laura. There is a huge difference on how Dean and Sal treat their woman; Sal in a good way and Dean is vice versa. All in all, Salvatore Paradise and Dean Moriarty have some similarities but a lot of difference when it comes to their idea of traveling, the role and importance of their relatives especially their fathers in their lives, and lastly, on how they treat and cherish their woman. I believe that the sayings “opposites attract” is true, having Sal and Dean as an example. Their differences and things in common made the perfect friendship that they have.