On the Road

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On the Road Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The first thing Sal did in Denver was look up Chad King. He called Chad’s mother, who located him, and Chad came and picked Sal up. Sal learned that Chad had stopped being friends with Dean for some reason, and didn’t know where he was. Chad also wasn’t speaking with Carlo Marx at that time. Sal says that this was the beginning of “Chad King’s withdrawal from out general gang.”
Sal’s ideal group of friends is starting to fracture and break up. Sal’s friends all rebel in some way against mainstream society, but their community of friends is itself a kind of miniature society from which Chad, for example, begins to withdraw.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sal says he found himself in the middle of a dispute between Chad King (and some other friends), on the one hand, and Dean and Carlo on the other. According to Sal, this dispute had “social overtones,” as Dean was from a bad background, with an alcoholic father in and out of jail.
Sal’s community of like-minded friends is beginning to divide along class lines. Even though their countercultural group rejects societal norms, they still have some prejudices based on social class.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Dean and Carlo had a basement apartment, where Sal would later spend “many a night that went to dawn.” But on his first day in Denver, Sal slept at Chad King’s place. He stayed there and ate with Chad’s family, wondering where Dean was.
After traveling across much of the country largely in pursuit of Dean, Sal can’t find him in Denver. Sal and Dean have a close friendship, but Sal is more often than not in the position of chasing after him.
Themes
Friendship Theme Icon