On the Road

On the Road

Sal Paradise Character Analysis

The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Sal is a young writer living with his aunt in New Jersey, who gets swept up by the mad eccentricity and excitement of Dean. He follows Dean out west and ends up loving the road, going on a series of Beat adventures all across America. Sal takes time in between his long trips to finish a book, which he is able to sell to publishers for some money. He spends much of the novel pursuing and following Dean, with whom he is fascinated and develops an intense friendship. Sal is taken with the wandering, free, countercultural lifestyle that Dean epitomizes and it is through his adoring eyes as narrator that we see Dean and the other bums, criminals, and hooligans he spends so much of his time with. But, at the end of the novel, Sal appears to have settled down with Laura and to have left the part of his life on the road behind.

Sal Paradise Quotes in On the Road

The On the Road quotes below are all either spoken by Sal Paradise or refer to Sal Paradise. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of On the Road published in 1999.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Road
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

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In the bar I told Dean, “Hell, man, I know very well you didn’t come to me only to want to become a writer, and after all what do I really know about it except you’ve got to stick to it with the energy of a benny addict.”

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “awww!”

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

“Hell’s bells, it’s Wild West Week,” said Slim. Big crowds of businessmen, fat businessmen in boots and ten-gallon hats, with their hefty wives in cowgirl attire, bustled and whoopeed on the wooden sidewalks of old Cheyenne; farther down were the long stringy boulevard lights of new downtown Cheyenne, but the celebration was focusing on Oldtown. Blank guns went off. The saloons were crowded to the sidewalk. I was amazed, and at the same time I felt it was ridiculous: in my first shot at the West I was seeing to what absurd devices it had fallen to keep its proud tradition.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Montana Slim
Page Number: 27-28
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

I wanted to go and get Rita again and tell her a lot more things, and really make love to her this time, and calm her fears about men. Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk—real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Rita Bettencourt
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 11 Quotes

This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink the night?

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Here I was at the end of America—no more land—and now there was nowhere to go but back.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 13 Quotes

There was an old Negro couple in the field with us. They picked cotton with the same God-blessed patience their grandfathers had practiced in ante-bellum Alabama; they moved right along their rows, bent and blue, and their bags increased. My back began to ache. But it was beautiful kneeling and hiding in that earth.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 14 Quotes

I thought all the wilderness of America was in the West till the Ghost of the Susquehanna showed me different. no, there is a wilderness in the East; it’s the same wilderness Ben Franklin plodded in the oxcart days when he was postmaster, the same as it was when George Washington was a wild-buck Indian-fighter, when Daniel Boone told stories by Pennsylvania lamps and promised to find the Gap, when Bradford built his road and men whooped her up in log cabins. There were not great Arizona spaces for the little man, just the bushy wilderness of eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, the backroads, the black-tar roads that curve among the mournful rivers like the Susquehanna, Monogahela, old Potomac and Monocacy.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

It was a completely meaningless set of circumstances that made Dean come, and similarly I went off with him for no reason. In New York I had been attending school and romancing around with a girl called Lucille, a beautiful Italian honey-haired darling that I actually wanted to marry. All these years I was looking for the woman I wanted to marry.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

Just about that time a strange thing began to haunt me. it was this: I had forgotten something. There was a decision that I was about to make before Dean showed up, and now it was driven clear out of my mind but still hung on the tip of my mind’s tongue. . . . It had to do somewhat with the Shrouded Traveler. Carlo Marx and I once sat down together, knee to knee, in two chairs, facing, and I told him a dream I had about a strange Arabian figure that was pursuing me across the desert; that I tried to avoid; that finally overtook me just before I reached the Protective City. “Who is this?” said Carlo. We pondered it. I proposed it was myself, wearing a shroud. That wasn’t it. . . . Naturally, now that I look back on it, this is only death: death will overtake us before heaven.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Carlo Marx (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Shrouded Traveler
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 5 Quotes

I could hear Dean, blissful and blabbering and frantically rocking. Only a guy who’s spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes. . . Dean had never seen his mother’s face. Every new girl, every new wife, every new child was an addition to his bleak impoverishment. Where was his father?—old bum Dean Moriarty the Tinsmith, riding freights, working as a scullion in railroad cookshacks, stumbling, down-crashing in wino alley nights, expiring on coal piles, dropping his yellowed teeth one by one in the gutters of the West. Dean had every right to die the sweet deaths of complete love of his Marylou. I didn’t want to interfere, I just wanted to follow.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty, Marylou
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 6 Quotes

On rails we leaned and looked at the great brown father of waters rolling down from mid-America like the torrent of broken souls—bearing Montana logs and Dakota muds and Iowa vales and things that had drowned in Three Forks, where the secret began in ice. Smoky New Orleans receded on one side; old, sleepy Algiers with its warped woodsides bumped us on the other. Negroes were working in the hot afternoon, stoking the ferry furnaces that burned red and made our tires smell. Dean dug them, hopping up and down in the heat.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

Suddenly Dean was saying good-by. He was bursting to see Camille and find out what had happened. Marylou and I stood dumbly in the street and watched him drive away. “You see what a bastard he is?” said Marylou. “Dean will leave you out in the cold any time it’s in his interest.”

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Marylou (speaker), Dean Moriarty, Camille
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 1 Quotes

At lilac evening I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered me was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night. . . . I wished I were a Denver Mexican, or even a poor overworked Jap, anything but what I was so drearily, a “white man” disillusioned.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker)
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 2 Quotes

I looked at him; my eyes were watering with embarrassment and tears. Still he stared at me. now his eyes were blank and looking through me. It was probably the pivotal point of our friendship when he realized I had actually spend some hours thinking about him and his troubles, and he was trying to place that in his tremendously involved and tormented mental categories.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Part 3, Chapter 11 Quotes

All the cigarette butts, the bottles, the matchbooks, the come and the gone were swept up into this pile. Had they taken me with it, Dean would have never seen me again. He would have had to roam the entire United States and look in every garbage pail from coast to coast before he found me embryonically convoluted among the rubbishes of my life, his life, and the life of everybody concerned and not concerned.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 4, Chapter 1 Quotes

Whenever spring comes to New York I can’t stand the suggestions of the land that come blowing over the river from New Jersey and I’ve got to go. So I went. For the first time in our lives I said good-by to Dean in New York and left him there.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Road
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Dean took out other pictures. I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 4, Chapter 2 Quotes

Suddenly I had a vision of Dean, a burning shuddering frightful Angel, palpitating toward me across the road, approaching like a cloud, with enormous speed, pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler on the plain, bearing down on me. I saw his huge face over the plains with the mad, bony purpose and the gleaming eyes; I saw his wings; I saw his old jalopy chariot with thousands of sparking flames shooting out from it; I saw the path it burned over the road; it even made its own road and went over the corn, through cities, destroying bridges, drying rivers. It came like wrath to the West. I knew Dean had gone mad again.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Shrouded Traveler
Page Number: 246-247
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 5 Quotes

Behind us lay the whole of America and everything Dean and I had previously known about life, and life on the road. We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Road
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Exc

Part 4, Chapter 6 Quotes

And he was gone. Twelve hours later in my sorrowful fever I finally came to understand that he was gone. . . When I got better I realized what a rat he was, but then I had to understand the impossible complexity of his life, how he had to leave me there, sick, to get on with his wives and woes.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Page Number: 288
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deser

Part 5, Chapter 1 Quotes

So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

Related Characters: Sal Paradise (speaker), Dean Moriarty
Related Symbols: The Road
Page Number: 293
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire On the Road LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Sal Paradise Character Timeline in On the Road

The timeline below shows where the character Sal Paradise appears in On the Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Writing Theme Icon
Sal Paradise recalls how his “life on the road” began when he met Dean Moriarty, shortly... (full context)
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
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...asked Chad King to teach him how to write and Chad told him to ask Sal instead, since Sal was a writer. After getting in a fight with Marylou and then... (full context)
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Dean and Sal went to get drinks and Sal agreed to let Dean stay with him for a... (full context)
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According to Sal, while out west before coming to New York, Dean had spent “a third of his... (full context)
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Dean and Carlo hit it off right away and Sal ended up following them as they rushed down the street, just as he’s pursued interesting... (full context)
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In the spring, many of Sal’s friends—including Dean—took trips out west. Dean, Carlo, and Sal took a picture together before Dean... (full context)
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Sal says that he went after Dean partly because he reminded him of a kind of... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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In July 1947, Sal was prepared to go west, having saved up fifty dollars. An old friend named Remi... (full context)
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Sal saw on a map that Route 6 went all the way from Cape Cod to... (full context)
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Sal cursed and thought of everyone out west “having a big time,” without him. At last,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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Sal took a bus through Pennsylvania and Ohio all the way to Chicago. He walked around... (full context)
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Sal took a bus out of Chicago and then started to hitchhike again. A woman picked... (full context)
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Sal took another bus and then got picked up by a truck driver, who took him... (full context)
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Sal saw some beautiful girls in Iowa, but says he was in a hurry to get... (full context)
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Sal and Eddie got on a bus and made their way into Nebraska, where Sal saw... (full context)
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The cowboy told Sal that he hated Nebraska and told him to come see “God’s country,” Montana, sometime. They... (full context)
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Sal and Eddie continued journeying with the cowboy and then found other people to hitchhike with.... (full context)
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At last, a farmer’s trailer pulled up to Sal and Eddie, and its driver said that he could only take on one passenger. Without... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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Sal says that shortly after this he had “the greatest ride in my life.” It was... (full context)
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The truck was headed for Los Angeles. Sal thought about riding all the way to California, but decided that he had to go... (full context)
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The hitchhikers ate, and Sal bought a bottle of whiskey. The truck continued on, speeding into Colorado, as the hitchhikers... (full context)
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Sal talked with Mississippi Gene, who told him he had some friends they could stay with... (full context)
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Mississippi Gene made fun of Sal’s ragged shoes, and all the hitchhikers laughed together and continued drinking the whiskey. The truck... (full context)
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...called Ogallala and the two North Dakota farmers got off to find work on farms. Sal went into a soda fountain and bought cigarettes for some of his fellow hitchhikers. The... (full context)
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...made it to Cheyenne, where it was Wild West Week, with everyone dressed like cowboys. Sal was disappointed at “what absurd devices [the West] had fallen to keep its proud tradition.”... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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Sal went to some bars with Montana Slim and then ate at a chili joint where... (full context)
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After going to a nightclub, Sal’s girl wanted to go back to her home in Colorado. He offered to take her... (full context)
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When Sal woke the next day, Montana Slim was already gone. Hungover, he went outside and saw... (full context)
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Inside the gas station, Sal had a milkshake, prepared by “a very beautiful Colorado gal.” This made Sal excited for... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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The first thing Sal did in Denver was look up Chad King. He called Chad’s mother, who located him,... (full context)
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Sal says he found himself in the middle of a dispute between Chad King (and some... (full context)
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Dean and Carlo had a basement apartment, where Sal would later spend “many a night that went to dawn.” But on his first day... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
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In Denver, Sal moved in with his friend, a writer named Roland Major, in an apartment belonging to... (full context)
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Sal continued to wonder where Dean was, until one day he received a call from Carlo... (full context)
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Carlo told Sal that he and Dean were attempting to “communicate with absolute honesty,” while sitting on a... (full context)
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Carlo informs Sal of Dean’s schedule: he is with Marylou during the day while Carlo works, then goes... (full context)
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Carlo and Sal went to the house where Dean and Camille were. Carlo knocked on the door, then... (full context)
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Sal, Dean, and Carlo took off into the city. The trio went to a house where... (full context)
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The rowdy group went back into downtown Denver and Sal ended up finding himself alone in the street without any money. He walked back to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Sal says that everyone began planning a trip to the mountains. Sal got a call from... (full context)
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After the party, Sal went to Carlo Marx’s house, where Carlo read him some of his poetry, in which... (full context)
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...discussed it; reminded each other of another abstract point forgotten in the rush of events.” Sal sat all night and listened to the two talk back and forth, until Dean decided... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
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Sal and his friends now made their “trek to the mountains.” He went with Ray Rawlins,... (full context)
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Sal went to the opera with Babe Rawlins, and he loved it, getting “lost in the... (full context)
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After cleaning the house, Tim, Ray Rawlins, and Sal went to the rooming house where the opera singers were staying. They took the singers’... (full context)
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Sal went to some bars and then returned to the party. He wished Dean and Carlo... (full context)
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Some of the opera singers came to the party and sang. Sal was having a great time and says that “the girls were terrific.” Then, some teenagers... (full context)
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Out in Central City, Sal saw someone named Denver Doll shaking hands with everyone and talking to all sorts of... (full context)
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...got into a dispute with an Argentinian tourist at the bar and punched him out. Sal, Tim, and Ray left the bar before the sheriff could find Ray. Outside, they ran... (full context)
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Sal and his friends went back into the same bar, where Tim threw a drink in... (full context)
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The next morning, Sal had stale beer for breakfast. He and his friends began the “sad ride back to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10
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When Sal came back to Denver, he found Carlo and was surprised to learn that Carlo and... (full context)
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Sal says that Rita was “a nice little girl, simple and true, and tremendously frightened of... (full context)
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Sal said goodbye to Roland Major, Ray Rawlins, and Tim Gray. He wandered around Denver for... (full context)
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Sal went to the bus station and bought a ticket to San Francisco. Dean called Sal... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11
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When Sal got to San Francisco, he was two weeks late for meeting his friend Remi Boncoeur.... (full context)
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Sal found Remi’s place in a neighborhood of “housing-project shacks.” Remi had left a note on... (full context)
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Sal says that he met Remi in prep school, but the two bonded because Remi had... (full context)
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Remi was delighted when Sal climbed in through the window and laughed when he saw him. Sal describes a black... (full context)
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Remi had Sal sleep on a cot in his shack and made sure to tell Sal “not to... (full context)
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Sal wrote “some gloomy tale about New York,” which Remi took to Hollywood. After more writing,... (full context)
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Sal went to work at the barracks, which housed overseas construction workers, most of whom “were... (full context)
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...were drinking and making lots of noise, because their ship was leaving the next morning. Sal went to one door and asked them to quiet down, but the occupants offered him... (full context)
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In the morning, the other guards (including one who had worked at Alcatraz), told Sal that he could go to jail for hanging the flag upside down. The Alcatraz guard... (full context)
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One night, another guard told Sal that they had to arrest some workers for making too much noise. Sal reluctantly went... (full context)
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Remi and Sal were often on duty by themselves. Remi would walk around looking for open doors, so... (full context)
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Remi and Sal were often able to break into the barracks cafeteria and steal all sorts of food.... (full context)
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One day, Sal and Remi went in to San Francisco and saw the Banana King, an old man... (full context)
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Another day, Remi, Sal, and Lee Ann went out to an old abandoned freighter in the San Francisco bay.... (full context)
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Sal began going out in San Francisco more often, trying to meet women. He describes “the... (full context)
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...began to fall apart with Remi and Lee Ann. Things came to a head when Sal went with them to a racetrack. On the way, Remi delivered a bag of groceries... (full context)
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Frustrated after losing his money, Remi got angry with Sal, and then he and Lee Ann got into an argument. Lee Ann threatened to leave... (full context)
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Remi asked Sal and Lee Ann for one final favor. His stepfather, a “distinguished doctor” from Europe was... (full context)
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By the day of the dinner, Sal had just recently quit his barracks job. He met Remi and Lee Ann at a... (full context)
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Sal realized that the dinner was a failure and that Remi wouldn’t talk to him again... (full context)
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The next morning, Sal decided to leave San Francisco, but then saw a mountain that he had promised he... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 12
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The next morning, Sal slipped out the window of Remi’s shack while Remi and Lee Ann were still sleeping.... (full context)
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After more hitchhiking, Sal found himself in Bakersfield, and went to the bus station to catch a bus to... (full context)
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Sal and the “Mexican girl” traded their stories. She had left her abusive husband and was... (full context)
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When the bus arrived in L.A., Sal started to worry that Teresa (the Mexican girl, whose name he now happens to mention)... (full context)
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Sal mentioned a friend of his in New York, a six-foot redhead named Dorie, and Teresa... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 13
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Sal stayed at the hotel with Teresa for the next fifteen days. They planned to hitchhike... (full context)
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Nonetheless, L.A. was full of “the beatest characters,” marijuana, jazz, and “long-haired brokendown hipsters.” Sal “wanted to meet them all,” but he and Teresa were busy looking for work, so... (full context)
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Sal went with Teresa as she got her things from her sister and a friend who... (full context)
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As Sal and Teresa walked along the road, cars full of high-school kids sped by, the kids... (full context)
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The next morning, Sal and Teresa decided to go to Bakersfield and work picking grapes until they had enough... (full context)
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Sal and Teresa bought a bottle of wine that night and after drinking they decided to... (full context)
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Teresa’s brother, Rickey, sold manure to farmers. He drove Sal and Teresa to “see some farmers about manure.” They drove around and talked to some... (full context)
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Sal got drunk with Rickey and Ponzo, and then they ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant... (full context)
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The next day, Sal found a tent in the “cotton fields and grape vineyards,” where he could stay with... (full context)
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Sal found a job picking cotton. It was difficult work, but “it was beautiful kneeling and... (full context)
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When winter came around, Teresa and Sal decided they had to leave their tent. Teresa and Sal went back with Ponzo to... (full context)
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Sal went with Teresa back to her family, but he waited a quarter-mile away, so her... (full context)
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Not wanting Sal to leave, Teresa told him that he could stay in a nearby farmer’s barn, and... (full context)
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Teresa didn’t want Sal to leave, but he told her that he had to. He had sex with Teresa... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 14
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Sal’s bus went through Arizona. He had a book that he had stolen in L.A., but... (full context)
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Back on the bus, Sal met a girl and they “necked all the way to Indianapolis.” She got off the... (full context)
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The Ghost of the Susquehanna walked in the middle of the road and Sal was sure that “the poor little madman,” would get hit by a car. Sal eventually... (full context)
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Riding in the car, Sal saw the Ghost of the Susquehanna standing under a streetlamp. The driver stopped and told... (full context)
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Sal says that the wilderness of the east is the same wilderness of Ben Franklin, George... (full context)
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Sal caught a ride out of Harrisburg. He told the driver he was starving, and the... (full context)
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Sal found himself back in Times Square, after traveling “eight thousand miles around the American continent.”... (full context)
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At home, Sal “ate everything in the icebox.” He found his half-finished manuscript waiting for him. Sal says... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
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Sal stayed at home for a year, during which time he attended school on the G.I.... (full context)
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Sal learned that Dean had lived with Camille in San Francisco and had a daughter. He... (full context)
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Dean danced inside to a jazz record, to the dismay of Sal’s southern relatives. Sal says that Dean’s madness “had bloomed into a weird flower.” He went... (full context)
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Dean then suddenly sped away and asked Sal where Carlo was. Dean thought that “this was the new and complete Dean, grown to... (full context)
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...a black woman and said, “Dig her, ...that little gone black lovely. Ah! Hmm!” Dean, Sal, Marylou, and Ed sped back to Dean’s brother’s house. Sal says that he now had... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
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Sal, Dean, Marylou, and Ed took off at night for Paterson, New Jersey. They sped along... (full context)
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Sal says that he went with Dean “for no reason.” He had been seeing a woman... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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Sal, Ed, Dean, and Marylou went to Sal’s house in Paterson and slept there. The next... (full context)
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Sal got another call from Camille, in San Francisco, looking for Dean. Dean called her back,... (full context)
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Dean and Sal drove Carlo back into New York and then drove back down to Virginia to get... (full context)
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Dean went on and on about his strange ideas and beliefs. Sal says that “these were the first days of his mysticism.” On the way back to... (full context)
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Sal drove into Paterson at dawn to find Ed and Marylou smoking cigarettes in his aunt’s... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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Dean and Sal were looking for a place to live in Manhattan as New Year’s Eve rolled around.... (full context)
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Sal asked Ed what he was going to do about Galatea, and what he was going... (full context)
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Around this time, Sal got the feeling that he had forgotten something. He thought it had something to do... (full context)
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Sal went to a party at his friend Tom Saybrook’s place and then stayed in New... (full context)
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Sal resisted Marylou’s advances. He says that he knew he and Lucille “wouldn’t last much longer.”... (full context)
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Sal went to all sorts of parties. He saw his friend Damion, whom he calls “the... (full context)
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Sal went to Long Island and a party hosted by “the wild, ecstatic Rollo Greb.” Rollo... (full context)
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During their weekend of partying, Sal and Dean went to hear a jazz pianist play. Dean was ecstatic at the music... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
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Sal went back to his aunt’s house to rest. His aunt told him he was wasting... (full context)
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Before Sal, Dean, Marylou, and Ed left, Carlo talked to them in his apartment and asked what... (full context)
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One day, Dean asked Sal for a favor. In a “hoodlum bar,” he asked Sal to “work Marylou,” i.e. sleep... (full context)
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Sal couldn’t go through with it while Dean was watching, so he asked Dean to go... (full context)
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...at “jam on the floor, pants, dresses thrown around, cigarette butts, dirty dishes, open books.” Sal saw that “Marylou was black and blue from a fight with Dean about something,” and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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Sal, Dean, Marylou, and Ed all felt good getting on the road again. Sal felt as... (full context)
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...twelve hours at a stretch,” while spending the rest of the time living with Camille. Sal had thought that Marylou was going to “switch” to him, and so began to worry... (full context)
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Sal and everyone arrived in Washington D.C. at dawn on the day of Truman’s inauguration for... (full context)
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...wanted to get a gun and shoot the cop who gave him the speeding ticket. Sal says that “the American police are involved in psychological warfare against those Americans who don’t... (full context)
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Dean picked up another hitchhiker and then dropped him off in North Carolina. Sal drove along “the holy road,” through South Carolina at night while everyone else slept. Dean... (full context)
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Old Bull Lee wasn’t home, but Sal saw Jane Lee there, who used to live with Sal’s wife and him in New... (full context)
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Sal gives a quick synopsis of Bull’s life. He travelled all around the world, reading and... (full context)
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Bull asked Sal what he was doing traveling across the country, and Sal didn’t have much of an... (full context)
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Sal and Dean wanted to go out for a night on the town in New Orleans,... (full context)
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Sal, Dean, and Bull took a ferry into New Orleans. Sal watched as “the river poured... (full context)
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Everyone drank and took drugs, playing out their “sad drama in the American night.” Sal wanted to go for a walk and look at the Mississippi River, but had to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Bull told Sal some odd stories about his aunt, a man with a brain disease that made him... (full context)
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Bull and Sal went to the horse races. One horse’s name (Big Pop) reminded Sal of his father,... (full context)
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Back at Bull’s place, Sal, Dean, and Ed played basketball and then “turned to feats of athletic prowess.” Then, Sal,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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Sal, Dean, and Marylou drove out of New Orleans, along the Mississippi River. They stopped at... (full context)
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...black fellas moanin guitar blues.” They soon found themselves surrounded by a dark forest and Sal says that the dark was “a manuscript of the night we couldn’t read.” As they... (full context)
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Sal took over driving after Houston. It started to rain and Sal had to veer off... (full context)
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In Sonora, Sal stole more food. Dean kept talking nonsense, and drove them toward El Paso. At one... (full context)
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After a while, they parked the car and Marylou and Dean had sex while Sal slept. They drove onward to Clint, Texas, the home of a radio station Dean was... (full context)
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...El Paso, planning to pick up some hitchhikers who might help out with gas money. Sal says that Marylou watched Dean out of the corner of her eye with “an envious... (full context)
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Dean picked up a young hitchhiker, but the hitchhiker had no money. Sal said he could borrow money from a friend in Tucson, so they headed that way.... (full context)
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In Tucson, Sal found his friend Hal Hingham, a writer who had moved to Arizona to write in... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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...up a hitchhiker (a musician) and drove down a mountain pass into California. Dean told Sal all about his times in California as they drove past different places. When they all... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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Sal and Marylou found a hotel that let them stay on a room on credit. Sal... (full context)
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Sal told Marylou about a dream he had, where a giant snake coiled in the earth,... (full context)
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Marylou left Sal and went off with a nightclub owner. Sal says he “saw what a whore she... (full context)
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Sal says that he crossed over from “chronological time into timeless shadows,” and saw angels. He... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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Dean finally found Sal in this state and brought him to his house with Camille. Sal liked Camille better... (full context)
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Sal and Dean saw Slim Gaillard, a black jazz musician, perform in a nightclub. Dean loved... (full context)
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On the last night before leaving San Francisco, Sal went out with Dean. Dean found Marylou and the three of them went all over... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
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After some time at home, Sal went to Denver and tried “settling down there,” with a job in a wholesale fruit... (full context)
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One evening Sal saw a bunch of young people “of all kinds, white, colored, Mexican, pure Indian,” all... (full context)
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Sal went to see “a rich girl” he knew, who gave him a hundred dollar bill... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
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Dean answered the front door completely naked and welcomed Sal inside, where they talked. Camille was upset, as she knew that the arrival of Sal... (full context)
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...gun and gave it to her, telling her to shoot him. She refused. Dean told Sal that Marylou was now married to a car salesman. Dean had an injured thumb from... (full context)
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Dean told Sal about all the medicines he had to take because of his thumb and its complications... (full context)
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The next morning, Camille came into the house, saw Dean and Sal with another friend, and threw Dean out of the house. As Camille and Dean were... (full context)
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Dean was still his enthusiastic self after getting thrown out, but Sal saw how badly Dean was doing. He suggested they go to New York and then... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
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Dean and Sal went to a bar to plan their trip. Dean wanted to go to Denver and... (full context)
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Sal decided to go see Galatea, whom Ed had recently left in order to go to... (full context)
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Galatea criticized Dean for leaving Camille, and Sal tried to defend him. Galatea scolded Dean for traveling east and leaving Camille to look... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4
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...group went out to hear some jazz music and had a great time. Dean and Sal got one jazz musician to join them and hang out with them. They all piled... (full context)
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Dean and Sal went around to different bars and ended up drinking with “a colored guy called Walter.”... (full context)
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...father in a hotel room, and they ended up crashing with them for the night. Sal went to get his and Dean’s bags from Galatea’s place, where Galatea warned Sal, “Someday... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
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Sal and Dean hitched a ride along with a tourist couple out of San Francisco with... (full context)
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In Sacramento, the driver bought a hotel room and invited Sal and Dean up to the room. He propositioned them, and Dean tried to get him... (full context)
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Sal tried to assure the passengers that Dean was a good driver, but they insisted on... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6
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In Denver, Dean made a comment in a restaurant about Sal getting older, which upset Sal. Referring to the man who had driven them out of... (full context)
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One night, Dean arranged for his cousin Sam to meet up with Sal and him. Dean told Sal all about how close he was with his cousin when... (full context)
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...he told Dean he didn’t drink anymore and said that he only came so that Sal would sign a paper separating Sal from his family. Dean was saddened but asked Sam... (full context)
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Sam left and Dean and Sal went to a carnival, where they spotted “one amazing little girl,” amid a crowd of... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7
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The next afternoon, Dean and Sal walked around Denver. Dean walked into a sports store and stole a softball, so they... (full context)
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...house lived “a beautiful young chick” that Dean was interested in, and as Dean and Sal kept drinking, Dean would periodically run across the field and whistle for the girl. The... (full context)
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Sal, Dean, and Frankie prepared to go out drinking in Denver that night. Sal got a... (full context)
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Sal and Frankie didn’t want to ride in a stolen car, so they took a cab... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 8
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...his fingerprints were all over the stolen car, which he realized belonged to a detective. Sal and Dean hurriedly packed their things and left. They went to a travel bureau in... (full context)
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...waitress, whom he convinced that the Cadillac was his. He drove off with her, leaving Sal and two other passengers behind for a while, and then came speeding back to pick... (full context)
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Dean told Sal that he wanted to stop at Ed Wall’s ranch on the way to Chicago. He... (full context)
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...from a nearby farmer, who towed the car out of the ditch with his tractor. Sal told the two passengers in the car that Dean was mad but he was Sal’s... (full context)
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At last, they got to Ed Wall’s ranch. Sal says that Ed was like “Dean’s older brother.” Ed’s wife cooked a large meal for... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9
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As they continued driving, Dean and Sal admired the car. Dean said that with this car they could drive all the way... (full context)
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...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. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 10
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Dean and Sal shaved and showered at a local YMCA and then drove around in the Cadillac for... (full context)
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They went out and heard a bunch of different jazz musicians perform. Sal describes some of his favorite jazz musicians. They saw a musician named George Shearing, and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 11
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Dean and Sal got on a bus to Detroit. Dean fell asleep and Sal talked with “a gorgeous... (full context)
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...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.” (full context)
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Dean and Sal wandered around Detroit and finally found a man who offered to drive them to New... (full context)
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...few months after that Inez gave birth. Now that Dean had several children, he and Sal decided not to go to Italy after all. (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
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Sal made some money from selling his book and, when spring came, he felt the need... (full context)
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One night, Sal and Dean were talking and Dean said it wouldn’t be so bad if they ended... (full context)
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One afternoon, Dean and Sal played baseball and basketball outside with some younger kids, who easily beat them. They had... (full context)
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Sal told Dean that he hoped they’d grow old together with their families, living on the... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2
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The next night, Sal took a bus toward Washington. He wandered around West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas.... (full context)
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Sal went to Denver with Henry, where they met up with Tim Gray and Stan Shephard.... (full context)
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Sal stayed in an apartment that Babe Rawlins arranged for him, and Henry “vanished off.” Sal,... (full context)
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Sal imagined Dean traveling west like “a burning shuddering frightful angel...pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler.”... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
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When Dean arrived, Sal was at Babe Rawlins’ house. Babe’s mother was out of town, so her aunt was... (full context)
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Dean informed Sal that he was going to get a Mexican divorce (“cheaper and quicker than any kind”)... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Before they left, Sal went with Stan to his house, where his grandfather sadly begged Stan not to go.... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
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...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... (full context)
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They drove through Texas, as Dean and Sal told Stan about books they had read and Stan talked about his travels in Europe.... (full context)
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While Stan went to a hospital, Dean and Sal went to a pool hall and got excited about Mexico. They drove off, and went... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 5
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...They were tremendously excited about being in Mexico and drove further south, into a desert. Sal says that he and Dean “had the whole of Mexico before us.” (full context)
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Dean told Sal that they were entering “a new and unknown phase of things.” They arrived at the... (full context)
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Sal drove for a while and felt like he was driving across the world, through “the... (full context)
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Sal stopped at a gas station near Gregoria and someone named Victor came to his car,... (full context)
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...car and Victor rolled a huge joint, which everyone (including Victor’s brothers) smoked. Dean and Sal liked Victor and his brothers, though they couldn’t understand what they were talking about in... (full context)
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Sal says that Dean looked like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and like God. Victor brought over his... (full context)
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Dean, Sal, and Stan danced with the prostitutes, and then went off with different ones. Sal wanted... (full context)
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The whole time, Sal kept thinking of the sixteen-year-old girl. Victor finally showed Sal the bill for everything, which... (full context)
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Victor took them all to a nearby bathhouse, where Stan and Sal showered. Victor was sad to see them all go, and asked them to come back.... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 6
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...they stopped and tried to sleep in the car, though it was incredibly hot out. Sal ended up sleeping on top of the car, getting bitten by hundreds of mosquitoes. Sal... (full context)
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A policeman found them sleeping by the car, but didn’t seem to mind. Sal says America doesn’t have this kind of “lovely policemen.” Sal tried to go back to... (full context)
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Dean, Sal, and Stan started driving through the jungle again, seeing all sorts of gigantic bugs. They... (full context)
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...hustle and bustle of the city, filled with “thousands of hipsters in floppy straw hats.” Sal was enjoying the city, but then started to get sick and delirious with a fever.... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 1
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Sal says that Dean drove back through Gregoria all the way to Louisiana before the car... (full context)
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When Sal was on his way back from Mexico City, just over the border in Texas he... (full context)
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In New York, Sal met the girl he “had always searched for” and fell in love. He and the... (full context)
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Dean told Sal things were good between Camille and him, and that he wanted Inez to come to... (full context)
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Sal says that the last time he saw Dean was “under sad and strange circumstances.” Remi... (full context)
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Dean asked to ride uptown with Sal as far as Penn Station, but Remi refused, so Sal and Laura got in the... (full context)