| Quote #4
[Jack Burden:] "According to the old folks […], the best way is to put two shots of absinthe on a little cracked ice and float on a shot of rye. But we can't be fancy. Not with Prohibition." (2.403)
We almost forget that Prohibition is on for much of novel. This ceremony also marks another stage of Willie's induction into the drinking life.
| Quote #5
"Hair, hell," [Sadie] said, "he must have swallowed the whole dog." (2.432)
Sadie can see just how drunk Willie is. She isn't at all convinced that Jack's "cure" will work. She still thinks Willie is a complete "sap." She'll sure change her tune in a few minutes.
| Quote #6
They drank because they didn't have the slightest interest in what they were doing now, and didn't have the slightest hope for the future. (4.10)
That's a pretty harsh assessment of his old college roommates. Jack knew them well, though, and we'll have to take his word for it. What we find interesting is that they use alcohol for a very different reason than Willie does. While they use it to forget their lives, Willie uses it to, in a sense, save his.