On the Road

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On the Road Part 4, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Not far out of Denver, Stan got stung by a strange bug and his arm swelled up, so the group had to stop and get penicillin from a hospital. Sal says, “O sad American night!” as he recalls how they drove down toward Mexico, sharing stories.
Despite Stan’s strange bug sting, Sal and Dean are excited by the prospect of their new trip. Sal again feels as though he is experiencing something definitive about the “American night” by traveling through the country.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
America Theme Icon
They drove through Texas, as Dean and Sal told Stan about books they had read and Stan talked about his travels in Europe. They went further and further south in Texas, as it got hotter and hotter, and stopped in San Antonio to get more penicillin for Stan’s arm.
Dean, Sal, and Stan solidify their new friendship trio as they travel together and share stories.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
While Stan went to a hospital, Dean and Sal went to a pool hall and got excited about Mexico. They drove off, and went through Laredo, feeling “awful and sad,” but were happy when they finally crossed over into Mexico at three in the morning. They exchanged their money for Mexican pesos and “stuffed the big rolls in our pockets with delight.”
Having seen so much of the country, Sal and Dean are now happy to cross into Mexico, a brand new land that holds the promise of excitement and surprise.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
America Theme Icon