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Big Sur

Big Sur


by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur Isolation Quotes

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

Quote #7

"Well I'll be damned" he keeps saying as he sees those bluffs and cliffs and hanging vines and dead trees, "you mean to tell me you ben alone here for three weeks, why I wouldn't dare that... must be awful at night ... looka that old mule down there... man (18.2)

Cody's reaction to Big Sur is almost exactly identical to Jack's, and markedly different from the general population of tourists (both men feel awe and terror rather than joy at the landscape's beauty). This is just a reminder of how close these two friends really are.

Quote #8

I feel excited to be with the gang but there's a hidden sadness too and which is expressed later by Monsanto when he says "This is the kind of place where a person should really be alone, you know? When you bring a big gang here it somehow desecrates it not that I'm referring to us or anybody in particular? there's such a sad sweetness to those trees as tho yells shouldnt insult them or conversation only" -- Which is just the way I feel too. (94.7)

If this is the case, then why does Jack return to Big Sur with Romana, Dave, and Billie at the end of the novel?

Quote #9

Not so much that I'm a drunkard that I feel guilty about but that others who occupy this plane of "life on earth" with me don't feel guilty at all […]. I feel guilty for being a member of the human race. (31.1)

This goes some way in explaining why Jack spends so much time in self-imposed isolation. He may love those around him, but he harbors a hidden disgust for people in general.

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