Stereotypes Of Women In Jack Kerouac's On The Road

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The way women are viewed in today’s society is miles ahead of the women in Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road. Not many people would consider Kerouac a feminist. His semi-autobiographical novel paints a picture of men who treat women as drinking mates that they can later sleep with. The main character, Sal, is recently divorced and looks for alcohol and women in every city he visits. His counterpart, Dean, moves through women as if they are tissues all while being married. Kerouac 's views of women are typical of the time, but he does nothing but reinforce women as vain stereotypes with little to no actual use for them as anything else than entertainment. The first of many women of Dean’s to be introduced to Sal is Marylou. She is described…show more content…
She is also not afraid of her husband and the consequences of her unfaithfulness. She also proves she can be a “dirty-minded” as the men she is with throughout the country. She is not a typical stereotype of her time, but she still follows many common traits a stereotypical woman is believed to have. In the end, she ditches her wild, childish ways and settles down with a used car salesmen to have children, Kerouac manages to have a reckless, unconventional women turn into a typical housewife who does not conflict or control men. One of the only women Sal manages to date long enough to be notable is Terry. The main factor of Terry in the beginning is her breasts. She is described almost a piece of meat would be, “ Her breasts stuck out straight and true; her little flanks looked delicious; her hair long and lustrous black” (Kerouac 74). Sal even jumps to the conclusion that because she is too beautiful as well as “too good to be true” she must be a prostitute and treats her as such. Sal“is convinced Theresa is a whore until he discovers with relief that she is only a baby, as fragile and vulnerable as he”…show more content…
She is also viewed as typical crazy woman who is too needy to be on the men’s journey. She is shown yelling a lot at both Sal and Dean at one point even kicking them out of her house. She is expected to stay out home with the children and never expects Dean to help with raising them as that is a woman’s job. She stays hopelessly devoted to Dean throughout the novel even though he is unfaithful and still clearly in love with Marylou. She reinforces the stereotypical 1950s housewife where she cooks, cleans, raises the children and has no life of her own. However, she is a gifted painter who creates beautiful portraits. Sal and Dean are surprised to learn that she has artistic talent that could reveal their poetic skills. It seems unbelievable that Galeata and Camille were able to support themselves as well as be able to function normally or maybe even better without the men. Camille is portrayed as a mother and lover who both portrays a woman’s typical role in the late 1940s and early 1950s and breaks by being a strong, stable woman who can take care of
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