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On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
Dean Moriarty Timeline and Summary
Dean comes east, interested in intellectual pursuits. He goes out drinking and meets Carlo Marx. Dean is in Denver, sleeping with both Camille and Marylou. He meets up with Sal and Carlo and they all go out together. He and Carlo take drugs and try to connect to each other’s souls while Sal watches. Or sleeps. They’re not really sure. Dean is with Carlo in a stolen car in Central City. He sort of searches for his father in Denver. Dean was apparently in Sal’s home at New York, but leaves right before Sal returns. After he gets a letter from Sal, Dean shows up in New York, along with Marylou and Ed Dunkel. He, Sal, Ed, and Marylou drive furniture to Sal’s brother’s new house. Dean, Sal, Ed, and Marylou wash dishes to pay for their food. Dean guns it to Virginia in ten hours. Along the way he insists that he and Sal know God and time and everything will be OK. He gets a speeding ticket. He is unable to explain his decisions to Carlo before they leave for New Orleans. Dean convinces Sal to have sex with Marylou while he watches, but Sal bails out. Dean has some cuts from a physical fight with Marylou. They all take off for New Orleans. He convinces Marylou to keep sleeping with him once he goes back to Camille in San Francisco. Dean is arrested for speeding…on the wrong side of the road. He picks up a Jewish hitchhiker and drives him to Testament. Dean tells the story of how he lost his virginity and makes sexual advances toward Marylou while driving. Dean arrives in New Orleans along with Sal, Marylou, and Ed. Despite all the drama at the Lees’ house, Dean just wants some food. Dean gets high at the Lees’ house. Dean competes in races with Sal and wins. Dean gets a little turned on by Bull’s daughter. He and Ed teach Sal how to hop freight trains. He leaves for California with Sal and Marylou. He pulls the car over in a swamp area, turns the lights off, and tells scary stories. He works with Sal to steal food, since they have no money. He gets naked while they drive and convinces Marylou and Sal to do the same. Dean has sex with Marylou in the car while Sal is sleeping. Dean runs off for a night with a homeless man. He picks up a man with a crippled hand. Dean charms a suspicious policeman and gets them off the hook. He stops to pick up a musician on the road. After they drive up some high terrain, Dean conserves gas on the way downhill – not using any gas for a solid thirty miles. He arrives in San Francisco with Sal and Marylou. He immediately takes off to go find Camille, leaving his friends without money, food or a place to stay. He finally decides to save Sal from certain starvation by bringing Sal to Camille’s place. He goes out with Sal to chill with Sam Gaillard. He ends up back with Marylou. Momentarily, anyway. He apparently goes back to Camille, again, because that’s the situation when Sal shows up. He is fighting with Camille about his madness. In his story to Sal, we find out that he smoked some uncured marijuana and went nuts over loving Marylou. Dean hit Marylou and it crippled his hand (thumb, really) forever. He and Sal decide to go to Italy, and have an awkward friendship moment. He and Sal get chauffeured around San Francisco by Roy Johnson. Dean gets dubbed the "Holy Goof" while everyone criticizes him for his life choices. Dean takes Sal out for one last night in San Francisco; he sees people that look like Bull and Carlo. Dean drags Sal to Denver to look for his missing father. On the way, he talks to Sal about musicians and how they have IT. Dean may be willing to have anal sex for money, but it never quite comes to that. Dean proceeds to demonstrate Bull’s bad driving for several hundred miles. Dean gets yelled at by Sal for pointing out their age difference. Then he cries. He is brought to the house of Sal’s former neighbors and told not to hit on the young girl. He tries to get Frankie to buy a car and is super angry when she won’t spend the money for it. He finds out that his father may be in New England. Dean sees his cousin, Sam, who wants nothing to do with him. He briefly expresses a desire for Marylou. He lusts after a Mexican girl and makes Sal follow her around with him. Dean steals a softball and breaks one of Janet’s records. He steals a car in Denver. Then another car. And then a few more for good measure. He is forced to flee Denver with Sal, because of the stolen cars and the cops that tend to follow massive bouts of grand theft auto. He picks up a Cadillac at the travel bureau. He fools around with a waitress, Beverly, whom he decides he should marry just as soon as he can divorce Camille. He heads for Chicago with some college boys in the back seat. He breaks the speedometer – that’s the first thing to go. Dean takes a corner too fast (after a warning from Sal) and ends up in a ditch. Dean agrees with Sal that the farmer’s daughter on the side of the road is the most beautiful girl either of them have ever seen. He stops to see Ed Wall. He tells the story of meeting Marylou when she was only fifteen. He races a hipster Buick and wins. Sal dubs Dean "The Angel of Terror." Dean has a minor car accident. The people in the other car later point them out to the cops as suspicious characters in a probably stolen car. Dean is stopped by the cops, but it’s not a problem. Dean and Sal make it to Chicago. He and Sal have a crazy jazz night. Dean insists that the musician George Shearing is God. He and Sal end up in Detroit. He ends up back in New York with Sal. Sal introduces Dean to Inez. Dean marries her shortly after, and has a child with her. Dean settles in New York with Inez, parking cars and conning for spare change. He gets quieter and starts making "Tao decisions." Before Sal leaves New York, Dean and he make plans to be old together. Dean heads for Denver to join the trip to Mexico. Sal compares him to the Shrouded Traveler. Once he reaches Denver, he is "finally an Angel" – according to Sal. He gets to Mexico along with Sal and Stan. He remarks that Mexico is like heaven. Dean communicates with Victor despite their language barrier. He goes to a brothel with Victor, Sal, and Stan. Dean spends time with Victor instead of getting clean at the bathhouse. Dean drives them into the jungle and they sleep outside with the insects. Dean, like Sal, sees the white horse and dogs while sleeping. Dean digs a small Indian girl they pass on high terrain. He gives her a watch in exchange for a rock crystal. He arrives in Mexico City with Sal and Stan. Dean abandons a dysentery-ridden, feverish Sal to head back to New York and Inez. As soon as he gets back to New York, Dean takes off for San Francisco and Camille again. When he hears that Sal is back in New York, Dean makes plans to meet him in a few weeks, but shows up within days instead. He wants Inez to come to San Francisco, but she won’t do it.