On the Road

On the Road

On the Road Part 3, Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next afternoon, Dean and Sal walked around Denver. Dean walked into a sports store and stole a softball, so they played catch as they walked along the sidewalk. They went back to Frankie’s house and started drinking.
Dean steals the softball casually and easily, thinking nothing of breaking the law.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Across the field behind Frankie’s 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 girl’s mother eventually walked over with a shotgun, and said that she’d shoot Dean if he came to her house again. Sal told her to calm down and said that Dean was his brother.
Dean’s reckless behavior threatens to get Sal and him in trouble. After committing to and abandoning Marylou and Camille, Dean seems attracted to practically every girl he encounters. Sal says that Dean is his brother to calm the girl’s mother, but also really does feel that they are as close as brothers.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Sal, Dean, and Frankie prepared to go out drinking in Denver that night. Sal got a call from a woman friend in Denver who had been giving him money who now realized that he was using her and called him a bastard. They all went out drinking, and Dean stole some cars for fun, eluding the police each time.
Sal has been taking advantage of a woman giving him money in order to have his fun, liberated life. Dean now progresses from stealing food and gasoline to stealing cars just for fun.
Themes
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Privilege and Prejudice Theme Icon
Sal and Frankie didn’t want to ride in a stolen car, so they took a cab home, and Dean drove back, leaving a stolen car outside Frankie’s house. Sal and Dean drove the stolen car out into a field away from Frankie’s house. Sal says “everything was in a horrible mess.”
Like Dean, Sal doesn’t like most rules and laws, but apparently draws the line at riding in a stolen car. As he and Dean tend to do, they have made a mess of things at Frankie’s. Any time they stop anywhere things eventually become a mess—emotionally, legally, or both.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
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