On the Road

On the Road

On the Road Part 4, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next night, Sal took a bus toward Washington. He wandered around West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas. On the bus, he met someone named Henry Glass who had just gotten out of prison for attacking someone with a knife when he was thirteen.
Sal once again hits the road by himself, sees more of the country, and makes a new friend—a recent ex-convict.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
America Theme Icon
Sal went to Denver with Henry, where they met up with Tim Gray and Stan Shephard. They all went out drinking, and Stan said that he had heard Sal was going to go to Mexico. Stan wanted to come along, and Sal agreed.
Sal is happy to reunite with some of his old friends, and makes a plan for yet another road trip—this time all the way to Mexico.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sal stayed in an apartment that Babe Rawlins arranged for him, and Henry “vanished off.” Sal, Stan, Tim, and Babe spent a week drinking and listening to jazz in Denver. Sal was preparing to go to Mexico when he learned that Dean was on his way to Denver.
As quickly as Sal’s road friend Henry came into his life, he disappears. Sal spends his time drinking and having fun in Denver. Dean tried to stay put in New York but evidently couldn’t pass up an opportunity to travel with Sal once again.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sal imagined Dean traveling west like “a burning shuddering frightful angel...pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler.” He figured Dean had “gone mad again.” The new plan was now for Dean to drive Sal down to Mexico.
Dean’s resemblance to the Shrouded Traveler suggests that he may be the mad impetus behind Sal’s restlessness, impelling him to keep traveling.
Themes
Freedom, Travel, and Wandering Theme Icon
Society, Norms, and Counterculture Theme Icon
Get the entire On the Road LitChart as a printable PDF.
On the road.pdf.medium