Riding or walking, still a Drifter
Both "Easy Rider" and "Vagabond" follow the paths of different drifters in their quest for freedom, but that if pretty much where the similarities end. Wyatt and Billy have a seeming advantage over Mona in the fact that they at least have their bikes to keep them company and assist in their travels. Their trip signals a quest for freedom and the open road for adventure. Whereas the French view of the road trip on which Mona embarks is not necessarily freedom and openness. She is an outcast of a different sort. Like the female she is, she has to rely on men to pick her up and feed her, drive her, or give her a place to stay.
Both sets of outcasts in these movies are looked down upon, but Mona's is a double-edged sword. She is not only dirty and a drifter, but she is a dirty FEMALE drifter. Females are not supposed to be so unkempt and unproper. They are supposed to be hosuekeepers or teachers, clean and civilized. Thus, as a result of her actions, Mona spends the majority of the movie alone. Even when she is the company of certain willing persons, she is isolated and outside of the mainstream "culture" of this movie. She is raped in the darkness and no one except for the movie audience ever finds out. It is not as schosking had it happened to someone like the elderly woman's housemaid. Being a drifter in Mona's case is not a liberating, freeing experience. It is a death walk in which she meets her fate because she floats alone in a daze throughout the countryside until she gives up and succumbs to what she deserves.
In "Easy Rider" the freeing journey the men travel along together is crazy as well, however they have their companionship, as well as that of George, which is less lonely and dark. When they die, it is a shock to us as a movie audience. However, in "Vagabond", we see right away that Mona dies. Then we are taken back in time to see why she did. It is not a surprise to us that she perishes, and the only surprise to myself was that she lasted as long as she did.