On the Road

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On the Road Part 4, Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Dean arrived, Sal was at Babe Rawlins’ house. Babe’s mother was out of town, so her aunt was watching over the house. Someone named Tom was living upstairs and was “hopelessly in love” with Babe, though Babe was after Tim Gray. Dean arrived with Roy Johnson, mad as ever.
Now the old Denver group of friend are reunited and ready to have their reckless fun. Babe’s aunt is watching over the house, as if Babe and the others were irresponsible children.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Dean informed Sal that 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. They went to a “mournful party,” where Dean was quiet and withdrawn.
Dean plans to finalize his divorce from Camille and commit to Inez. But how long will it be before he leaves Inez behind, as well? Sal and Dean go out for a “big night” with their friends. Yet the party turns out to be a sad affair—signaling that it's time, probably, to move on.
Themes
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
The group went from party to party, getting “fumingly drunk.” Dean and Sal drove around and Sal started to get excited for their trip south to Mexico. Dean was convinced that this trip would “finally take us to IT!”
Sal and Dean have a good time, as usual, frequenting parties. They are excited to take yet another trip together, and convinced that it will be some kind of culmination, that they will find the elusive thing they are always searching for, the elusive thing they can't even describe.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Before they left, Sal went with Stan to his house, where his grandfather sadly begged Stan not to go. Sal realized that Stan was “fleeing his grandfather” for some reason. Sal, Dean, and Stan got in Dean’s car and took off, headed for Mexico.
Sal and his friends all have their reasons for seeking the open road, whether they are fleeing something or searching for something. Stan seems to be fleeing his grandfather, possibly because he can't bear the responsibility of love that his grandfather seems to need from him.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
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