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On the Road

On the Road


by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Madness Quotes

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

Quote #19

We went looking for my New York gang of friends. The crazy flowers bloom there too. We went to Tom Saybrook’s first. Tom is a sad, handsome fellow, sweet, generous, and amenable; only once in a while he suddenly has fits of depression and rushes off without saying a word to anyone. This night he was overjoyed. "Sal, where did you find these absolutely wonderful people? I’ve never seen anyone like them." (II.3.8)

Sal’s friends find camaraderie in madness.

Quote #20

Dean was having his kicks; he put on a jazz record, grabbed Marylou, held her tight, and bounced against her with the beat of the music. She bounced right back. It was a real love dance. Ian MacArthur came in with a huge gang. The New Year’s weekend began, and lasted three days and three nights. Great gangs got in the Hudson and swerved in the snowy New York streets from party to party. I brought Lucille and her sister to the biggest party. When Lucille saw me with Dean and Marylou her face darkened - she sensed the madness they put in me.

"I don’t like you when you’re with them."

"Ah, it’s all right, it’s just kicks. We only live once. We’re having a good time."

"No, it’s sad and I don’t like it." (II.4.10-II.4.13)

Sal is affected by the madness of those around him,

Quote #21

To the wild sounds of Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray blowing "The Hunt," Dean and I played catch with Marylou over the couch; she was no small doll either. Dean went around with no undershirt, just his pants, barefoot, till it was time to hit the car and fetch more people. Everything happened. We found the wild, ecstatic Roll Greb and spent a night at his house on Long Island. (II.4.15)

Sal often sets scenes of madness to music, suggesting both a rhythm and a loudness to their scenes of debauchery.

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