On the Road

On the Road

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On the Road Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dean and Sal got on a bus to Detroit. Dean fell asleep and Sal talked with “a gorgeous country girl” who turned out to be dull. They arrived in Detroit and spent the night in an all-night movie theater with all sorts of sad characters.
The dull country girl lacks the eccentric excitement that characterizes Sal and his friends. In Detroit, they bum around with more mad, sad characters.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Dean says he almost got swept up with the garbage in the theater by some attendants who were cleaning, and imagines Dean having to search for him in garbage pails all over the country until he could find Sal “embryonically convoluted among the rubbishes of my life, his life, and the life of everybody.”
Sal’s imagining of being swept up in a big heap of garbage like an embryo suggests that he sees himself as being reborn and finding himself by traveling through the trash and dregs of society.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Dean and Sal wandered around Detroit and finally found a man who offered to drive them to New York. They got back to Sal’s aunt’s house, and his aunt said that Dean could only stay for a few days.
Dean and Sal get back on the road and finally make it to Sal’s aunt’s home. Sal’s aunt has had enough of Dean’s aimless. reckless nonsense.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
About five days later, 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 birth to Dean’s second child and then a few months after that Inez gave birth. Now that Dean had several children, he and Sal decided not to go to Italy after all.
Yet again, Dean is quick to fall in love and go back on his earlier promises. He now abandons Camille (and his daughters) again. Dean’s new love for Inez gets in the way of his Italy plans with Sal.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
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