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On the Road

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Contrasting Regions Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #16

"Yes," I said, "let’s go to Italy." And so we picked up our bags, he the trunk with his one good arm and I the rest, and staggered to the cable-car stop; in a moment rolled down the hill with our legs dangling to the sidewalk from the jiggling shelf, two broken-down heroes of the Western night. (III.2.26)

It is interesting that, having traveled to the West, Sal now describes himself as a Western hero, a title he once used only for Dean.

Quote #17

At night in this part of the West the stars, as I had seen them in Wyoming, are big as roman candles and as lonely as the Prince of the Dharma who’s lost his ancestral grove and journeys across the spaces between points in the handle of the Big Dipper, trying to find it again. So they slowly wheeled the night, and then long before actual sunrise the great red light appeared far over the dun bleak land toward West Kansas and the birds took up their trill above Denver. (III.7.18)

For Sal, everything is different in the West, all the way up to the movement of the stars.

Quote #18

The Jesuit boys giggled. They were full of corny quips and Eastern college talk and had nothing on their bird-beans except a lot of ill-understood Aquinas for stuffing for their pepper. Dean and I paid absolutely no attention to them. As we crossed the muddy plains he told stories about his cowboy days. (III.8.18)

Sal has converted to a man of the West, looking at academics from the East (which he once was) as silly and useless.

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