On the Road

On the Road


Jack Kerouac

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On the Road: Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Sal, Dean, Marylou, and Ed took off at night for Paterson, New Jersey. They sped along and Dean had to periodically reach out the window and wipe a hole in the ice-covered windshield to see through. He often “gestured furiously,” as he talked, taking both his hands off the steering wheel.
Dean has no respect for speed limits and no worries about safety while driving with an ice-covered windshield with both hands off the wheel.
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Sal says that he went with Dean “for no reason.” He had been seeing a woman named Lucille in New York and thought he wanted to marry her. He told Dean that he wanted to marry someone and settle down, because “this can’t go on all the time—all this franticness and jumping around.” They pulled into New York in the early morning.
Sal is infatuated by Dean and the life of the road, but even he thinks that he will have to settle down for good sometime. Sal’s connection to the wandering life is both real and has a little bit of tourism to it—there is a sense that he is just visiting.
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