On the Road

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Dean’s second wife and the mother of two of his daughters. Like his other wives, Dean abandons Camille repeatedly in order to go on the road, but it is Camille who he appears to end up with at the end of the novel (ironically, just after divorcing her to marry Inez). At the end of Part Three, Camille gets fed up with Dean and throws him out of their house, but at the end of the novel she writes Dean to tell him that she and their daughters will wait for him in San Francisco. It is unclear whether Dean really does go back to Camille and settle down, or whether he keeps her waiting indefinitely.

Camille Quotes in On the Road

The On the Road quotes below are all either spoken by Camille or refer to Camille. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of On the Road published in 1999.
Part 2, Chapter 5 Quotes

“I want to know what all this sitting around the house all day is intended to mean. What all this talk is and what you propose to do. Dean, why did you leave Camille and pick up Marylou?” No answer—giggles. “Marylou, why are you traveling around the country like this and what are your womanly intentions concerning the shroud?” Same answer. “Ed Dunkel, why did you abandon your new wife in Tucson and what are you doing here sitting on your big fat ass? Where’s your home? What’s your job?”

Related Characters: Carlo Marx (speaker), Dean Moriarty, Marylou, Camille, Ed Dunkel
Page Number: 120-121
Explanation and Analysis:

Carlo is an important character, since he was first described as being just like Sal and Dean, but his friendship with them frays as his life goes in a different direction. In a sense, Dean represents the reckless and doomed extreme of the counterculture. He is accountable to nobody and has no ambition besides having fun new experiences.

Carlo rejects the same kinds of authority and mainstream culture as Dean, but Carlo is shown to be devoted to his poetry. Of anyone in the book, Carlo is the one who seems most productive; he always has new and interesting poetry to show the others, which implies that he has found a way to balance his lifestyle and his ambition.

Sal seems caught in the middle – he lives Dean's life most of the time, and tries to write sometimes. He's less carefree than Dean, and less productive and responsible than Carlo. While Sal romanticizes Dean throughout the book more than Carlo, this is a moment of reckoning in which Carlo becomes a center of morality. This is not the unexamined morality of mainstream society, but a heartfelt critique coming from a friend and fellow member of the counterculture. This is an important passage in that it challenges the simplistic ideals and reckless lifestyle of its protagonists, making the moral stakes of the book more fraught and complex. 

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Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

Suddenly Dean was saying good-by. He was bursting to see Camille and find out what had happened. Marylou and I stood dumbly in the street and watched him drive away. “You see what a bastard he is?” said Marylou. “Dean will leave you out in the cold any time it’s in his interest.”

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Marylou (speaker), Dean Moriarty, Camille
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

While Dean and Sal often discredit Marylou's opinions and character, she is able to see something about Dean that Sal can't; he is fundamentally selfish, which is a threat to his and Sal's friendship. Prior to this passage, Sal and Dean and Marylou were all traveling together, but Dean left them on a whim in San Francisco in order to go visit another woman. Sal seems just as surprised by this as Marylou as they watch him drive away, but Marylou is the one who is able to show Sal that this is part of a pattern of behavior for Dean.

The reason Marylou is able to see this aspect of Dean is that, as a woman, Dean treats her with less respect than he treats Sal, and once Sal is in the position of being disrespected by Dean it takes Marylou to make sense of it for him. This passage shows a faultline in the friendship between Dean and Sal; it indicates that the friendship might not be as important to Dean as it is to Sal, and it foreshadows a time in which Dean will seriously let Sal down.

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Camille Character Timeline in On the Road

The timeline below shows where the character Camille appears in On the Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 7
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...is with Marylou during the day while Carlo works, then goes to his other woman, Camille, at 1 AM. Then, he meets up with Carlo and they talk until six in... (full context)
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Carlo and Sal went to the house where Dean and Camille were. Carlo knocked on the door, then hid, not wanting Camille to see him. Dean... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
Friendship Theme Icon
Writing Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...Dean then arrived and announced that he was all set to divorce Marylou and marry Camille. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Sal learned that Dean had lived with Camille in San Francisco and had a daughter. He worked on the railroad and made decent... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Writing Theme Icon
America Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Sal got another call from Camille, in San Francisco, looking for Dean. Dean called her back, while Sal called Carlo Marx... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...Marylou flirted with Sal and told him that Dean was going to go back to Camille, so he should come to San Francisco and live with her. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...“to have an affair with Marylou,” since he knew Dean would get back together with Camille. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...for twelve hours at a stretch,” while spending the rest of the time living with Camille. Sal had thought that Marylou was going to “switch” to him, and so began to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...arrived in San Francisco, Dean left Sal and Marylou, without any money, to go find Camille. Marylou complained about “what a bastard,” Dean was. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Dean finally found Sal in this state and brought him to his house with Camille. Sal liked Camille better than Marylou, who he told Dean was a whore. Dean got... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Dean answered the front door completely naked and welcomed Sal inside, where they talked. Camille was upset, as she knew that the arrival of Sal meant Dean would likely go... (full context)
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
The next morning, Camille came into the house, saw Dean and Sal with another friend, and threw Dean out... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Galatea criticized Dean for leaving Camille, and Sal tried to defend him. Galatea scolded Dean for traveling east and leaving Camille... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 11
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...Dean met a woman named Inez at a party and fell for her. He called Camille to plan a divorce so he could marry Inez. A few months later, Camille gave... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Writing Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...that he was doing with Inez exactly the same thing that he had done with Camille. Oddly, Inez and Camille talked on the phone often about “Dean’s eccentricities.” (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...he was going to get a Mexican divorce (“cheaper and quicker than any kind”) with Camille. Dean and Sal “had a big night,” reuniting with old friends including Ed and Galatea.... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 1
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
...Inez got married, but then he immediately went back west to San Francisco to see Camille and his two daughters. (full context)
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Dean told Sal things were good between Camille and him, and that he wanted Inez to come to San Francisco as well and... (full context)