On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
On the Road Madness Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
Then Dean suddenly grew quiet and sat in a kitchen chair between Stan and me and stared straight ahead with rocky doglike wonder and paid no attention to anybody.
He simply disappeared for a moment to gather up more energy. If you touched him he would sway like a boulder suspended on a pebble on the precipice of a cliff. He might come crashing down or just sway rocklike. Then the boulder exploded into a flower and his face lit up with a lovely smile and he looked around like a man waking up and said, "Ah, look at all the nice people that are sitting here with me. Isn’t it nice! Sal, why, like I was tellin Min just t’other day, why, urp, ah, yes!" He got up and went across the room, hand outstretched to one of the bus-drivers in the party. "Howd’y’do. My name is Dean Moriarty. Yes, I remember you well. Is everything all right? Well, well. Look at the lovely cake. Oh, can I have some? Just me? Miserable me?" Ed’s sister said yes. "Oh, how wonderful. People are so nice. Cakes and pretty things set out on a table and all for the sake of wonderful little joys and delights. Hmm, ah, yes, excellent, splendid, harrumph, egad!" And he stood swaying in the middle of the room, eating his cake and looking at everyone with awe. He turned and looked around behind him. Everything amazed him, everything he saw. People talked in groups all around the room, and he said, "Yes! That’s right!" A picture on the wall made him stiffen to attention. He went up and looked closer, he backed up, he stooped, he jumped up, he wanted to see from all possible levels and angles, he tore at his T-shirt in exclamation, "Damn!" He had no idea of the impression he was making and cared less. People were now beginning to look at Dean with maternal and paternal affection glowing in their faces. He was finally an Angel, as I always knew he would become; but like any Angel he still had rages and furies, and that night when we all left the party and repaired to the Windsor bar in one vast brawling gang, Dean became frantically and demoniacally and seraphically drunk. (IV.3.11, IV.3.12)
Dean finally loses any semblance of control over his madness.
"They’re never alone. Nobody’s ever alone in this country. While you’ve been sleeping I’ve been digging this road and this country, and if I could only tell you all the thoughts I’ve had, man!" He was sweating. His eyes were red-streaked and mad and also subdued and tender - he had found people like himself. (IV.5.13)
Dean is only able to find madness akin to his own outside of the U.S.
Dean thrust money at him. In this welter of madness I had an opportunity to see what Dean was up to. He was so out of his mind he didn’t know who I was when I peered at his face. "Yeah, yeah!" is all he said. It seemed it would never end. It was like a long, spectral Arabian dream in the afternoon in another life - Ali Baba and the alleys and the courtesans. (IV.5.48)
Dean’s madness reaches new proportions in Mexico.