On the Road

On the Road

On the Road Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After some time at home, Sal went to Denver and tried “settling down there,” with a job in a wholesale fruit market. He would often walk around Denver wishing he were black, because “the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy...not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night.”
After so much time on the road, Sal tries to settle down. He romanticizes the interestingness of black life without considering all the discrimination and hardship black Americans must struggle with in the 1940s.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
One evening Sal saw a bunch of young people “of all kinds, white, colored, Mexican, pure Indian,” all playing softball. Sal felt sad and thought the pitcher looked like Dean, while a woman watching the game looked like Marylou.
The softball game can be seen as a metaphor for America, a country that encompass many different races and ethnicities. Sal seems to miss his friends, perhaps even Marylou.
Themes
Friendship Theme Icon
America Theme Icon
Sal went to see “a rich girl” he knew, who gave him a hundred dollar bill and told him to take a trip to San Francisco, because he had been talking about it for a while. Sal hitched a ride to San Francisco and immediately went to Dean’s house at two in the morning.
Sal is fortunate enough to have a rich friend who will randomly give him money so that he can go find his happiness on the road. Sal immediately goes to Dean.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon