On the Road

On the Road

Pdf fan
Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

On the Road Part 3, Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As they continued driving, Dean and Sal admired the car. Dean said that with this car they could drive all the way to the southern tip of South America. They were both excited for Chicago. Dean told Sal about some of his past run-ins with the law and mentioned his alcoholic father. He told the story of when he first saw Marylou at a soda fountain in Denver (she was fifteen).
Dean is caught up in the excitement of the road, imagining that he could drive all over the world. Dean’s stories fill in some of the background of his character: he’s been on the road and in trouble with the law for most of his life.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Dean drove past some hobos on the side of the road and thought if his father might be among them. They saw a man driving a Buick and raced him until the man gave up and pulled into a gas station. They drove on, with Dean speeding and weaving in and out of traffic dangerously. Dean rear-ended another car in a minor accident.
Perhaps one reason why Dean finds himself roaming all over the country is because he is in some way searching for his long lost father somewhere among the hobos and vagrants he sees. He continues to drive recklessly and dangerously with no regard for traffic laws.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Later on, Dean got pulled over by a policeman, who said the man they rear-ended claimed that he had been hit by someone driving a stolen car. Dean drove to the police station, where they verified that Dean was a hired driver.
The police interfere once again with Dean’s free-spirited driving. But this time—for once—Dean hasn’t actually done anything wrong.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Back on the road, Dean continued driving dangerously until they pulled into Chicago, looking like “a new California gang come to contest the spoils of Chicago, a band of desperados escaped from the prisons of the Utah moon.” Sal calculated that Dean drove at an average of 70 miles per hour the whole way.
The earlier accident and the run-in with the police have no effect on Dean’s dangerous driving habits.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Get the entire On the Road LitChart as a printable PDF.
On the road.pdf.medium