© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Big Sur

Big Sur


by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #4

I figure I'll get a ride into Monterey real easy and take the bus there and be in Frisco by nightfall for a big ball of wino yelling with the gang, I feel in fact Dave Wain oughta be back by now, or Cody will be ready for a ball, and there'll be girls, and such and such, forgetting entirely that only three weeks previous I'd been sent fleeing from that gooky city by the horrors -- But hadn't the sea told me to flee back to my own reality? (10.1)

Jack Duluoz is characterized by the same boredom that plagued Kerouac's alter ego Sal Paradise in On the Road – no place is ever good enough to stay.

Quote #5

A regular nuthouse actually and just exactly the image of what the journalists want to say about the Beat Generation nevertheless a harmless and pleasant agreement for young bachelors and a good idea in the long run -- Because you can rush into any room and find the expert, like say Ben's room and ask "Hey what did Bodhidharma say to the Second Patriarch? " -- "He said go fuck yourself, make your mind like a wall, dont pant after outside activities and dont bug me with your outside plans" -- "So the guy goes out and stands on his head in the snow? " "No that was Fubar" -- Or you go runnin into Dave Wain's room and there he is sitting crosslegged on his mattress on the floor reading Jane Austen, you ask "What's the best way to make beef Stroganoff? "... "Beef Stroganoff is very simple, "t'aint nothin but a good well cooked beef and onion stew that you let cool afterwards then you throw in mushrooms and lotsa sour cream

The wild intellectual camaraderie and the opportunity to learn from others are what Jack misses when in solitude.

Quote #6

I'm bursting to explain everything to him, not even Big Sur but the past several years, but there's no chance with everybody yakking -- And in fact I can see in Cody's eyes that he can see in my own eyes the regret we both feel that recently we haven't had chances to talk whatever, like we used to do driving across America and back in the old road days, too many people now want to talk to us and tell us their stories, we've been hemmed in and surrounded and outnumbered -- The circle's closed in on the old heroes of the night (13.2)

Isolation is not just a physical thing in Big Sur; Jack feels alone even when he's around his closest friend.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...