We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Big Sur

Big Sur


by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur Chapter 2 Summary

  • Jack looks around his hotel room (which he calls his "dismal cell") and takes stock of his possessions, including a first aid kit and sewing materials supplied by his mother.
  • He realizes he needs to make "one fast move" or he'll be "gone" – then reflects on the past three years of "drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read."
  • He remembers waking up with delirium tremens (a episode of delirium caused by withdrawal from alcohol)3 and a heavy fear of death, weighed down and unrecognizable to himself.
  • So before he finds himself weighed down yet again, Jack jumps up, showers, and gets onto a bus headed for Monterey.
  • He needs to escape the city.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...