In Thelma and Louise, Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) depart on a journey of self-discovery. Thelma is on a quest for freedom from her controlling husband Daryl (Christopher McDonald), and Louise is looking for a little space from her long-term boyfriend, Jimmy (Michael Madsen). Louise asks Thelma, who was whining about having to ask Daryl for permission to go away for the weekend with her best friend, "Is he your husband or your father?" This shows the way Thelma is treated as a child at the opening of the film. Thelma lets others control every aspect of her existence, but on her trip she finally learns to make her own decisions in her life. The roads that Thelma and Louise travel on are a key to understanding themselves, a key to freedom and a key to a new life as emotionally mature women.
At the start of Thelma and Louise's journey and eventual crime spree, Thelma is shown as the traditional female who is unfortunately completely dependent upon her husband, Daryl. Thelma is also reminiscent of the 1950's stereotype of a woman; she is a housewife who feels that she is subservient and not as worthy as her hot head of a husband. Thelma is a young, beautiful, innocent, vulnerable, loveable, good hearted woman who is looking for a little bit of excitement in her life.
Looking for love in all the wrong places, Thelma decides to have a fun filled night of ecstasy with the cowboy the girls picked up, J.D. She decides that she is not just going to be Daryl's little housewife anymore and that she is going to think for herself and do whatever she wants to do. She has become sexually liberated for the very first time in her life. As Louise puts it, "You finally got laid properly I'm so proud." Thelma has lived an adult life of longing and regret about her early marriage to Daryl at the tender age of sixteen. Daryl was her first love and she never realiz