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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 #22

It was a rainy night. It was the myth of the rainy night. Dean was popeyed with awe. This madness would lead nowhere. I didn’t know what was happening to me, and I suddenly realized it was only the tea that we were smoking; Dean had bought some in New York. It made me think that everything was about to arrive - the moment when you know all and everything is decided forever. (II.4.18)

Sal attributes some fits of madness to drugs.

Quote #23

There were long, funny days spent in Carlo’s apartment before we left. He went around in his bathrobe and made semi-ironical speeches: "Now I’m not trying to take your hincty sweets from you, but it seems to me the time has come to decide what you are and what you’re going to do."

Carlo was working as typist in an office. "I want to know what all this sitting around the house all day is intended to mean. What all this talk is and what you propose to do. Dean, why did you leave Camille and pick up Marylou?" No answer - giggles. "Marylou, why are you traveling around the country like this and what are your womanly intentions concerning the shroud?" Same answer. "Ed Dunkel, why did you abandon your new wife in Tucson and what are you doing here sitting on your big fat ass? Where’s your home? What’s your job?" Ed Dunkel bowed his head in genuine befuddlement. "Sal - how comes it you’ve fallen on such sloppy days and what have you done with Lucille?" He adjusted his bathrobe and sat facing us all. "The days of wrath are yet to come. The balloon won’t sustain you much longer. And not only that, but it’s an abstract balloon. You’ll all go flying to the West Coast and come staggering back in search of your stone." (II.5.2)

Carlo’s madness functions on a system of logic – his own twisted and abstract logic, but a system nonetheless – whereas Dean functions without any attempt at reason whatsoever.

Quote #24

In these days Carlo had developed a tone of voice which he hoped sounded like what he called The Voice of Rock; the whole idea was to stun people into the realization of the rock. "You pin a dragon to your hats," he warned us; "you’re up in the attic with the bats." His mad eyes glittered at us. Since the Dakar Doldrums he had gone through a terrible period which he called the Holy Doldrums, or Harlem Doldrums, when he lived in Harlem in midsummer and at night woke up in his lonely room and heard "the great machine" descending from the sky; and when he walked on 12 5th Street "under water" with all the other fish. It was a riot of radiant ideas that had come to enlighten his brain. (II.5.3)

Carlo’s madness, like Dean’s, goes through different stages.

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