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On the Road

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Part 2, Chapter 6 Summary

  • Everyone is happy because they’re moving. Really fast. Because Dean is driving.
  • Everything will be OK once they get to New Orleans.
  • Dean gives a "let’s forget all our worries, forget all our cares" speech.
  • Dean proposes to Marylou that they go to San Francisco, so he can live with Camille and still sleep with Marylou. Shockingly, she agrees.
  • They pass a display of war paraphernalia and Dean wonders what "Harry" (Truman, the president) is up to.
  • Dean hits eighty miles-per-hour on a highway...in the wrong direction. So they are arrested...again.
  • The police harass the weary travelers, interrogate them, and get them to hand over twenty-five dollars to not go to jail. But Ed Dunkel says, forget the twenty-five, I’ll just go to jail.
  • Sal expounds on how cops make up crimes when there aren’t any to be had. Like with these law-abiding citizens.
  • They pick up a hitchhiker "for kicks!" His name is Hyman Solomon and he believes that, because he’s Jewish, strangers should give him food when he knocks on their doors.
  • They take Solomon to Testament, where Sal’s brother lives.
  • Dean finds the whole situation very Biblical – you know, Solomon and the Testament.
  • Sal wonders where all this is all going. Yes, Sal, we were just thinking that ourselves.
  • Thirty-two hours after they left the North, they’re in the warm sunshine of Florida.
  • Dean gets to a gridlock and just barrels by it through a driveway at seventy miles an hour, while talking about how he lost his virginity when he was nine and how sexy Marylou must have been when she was nine. Then he puts his finger in her mouth, licks his finger, and rubs her hand all over his body.
  • Ed Dunkel, meanwhile, is staring out the window and talking to himself about the visions he has of his own ghost.
  • Dean tells "this one time when I puked" stories.
  • Everything is going to be OK once they get to New Orleans.
  • Dean freaks out because there are so many women around in New Orleans.
  • Very interesting moment: they find Jane Lee (but Bull isn’t around). She asks if there’s a fire, Sal says he hasn’t seen one, and she cryptically remarks, "same old Paradise."
  • At this point, you might be wondering, what’s the deal with Jane? The deal with Jane is that she used to live with Sal and his wife. Now she takes Benzedrine like it’s candy. Also she has Polio.
  • Big dramatic moment: Ed and Galatea, together again at last. And she’s mad.
  • Dean just wants some food.
  • Bull Lee comes home. He has money, but spends it all on drugs. They don’t eat because they’re too busy taking drugs. The Lees also have children.
  • What’s the deal with Bull Lee? The deal with Bull Lee is that he is a teacher and a druggie and goes all over the world just for the experience.
  • He had a pet ferret, shot a big hole in a wall, and likes things that are ugly. He also has a thing for Shakespeare.
  • Bull Lee thinks death is just death, and that he has seven personalities. Now he spends his time studying things – personalities, at the moment, so he asks everyone questions.
  • They all have "tea" together. And it’s not Earl Grey, if you catch our drift. If you don’t catch our drift – it’s pot.
  • Bull Lee shows them his gun collection. This is a not a metaphor.
  • Sal ruminates as to Bull and Jane’s relationship – lots of deep soul talk and not a lot of mincing words. He says they understand each other and never leave each other’s side.
  • They discuss the Ideal Bar; it doesn’t exist anymore. To prove this point, Bull takes them to a lot of crappy bars.
  • Bull very hilariously psychoanalyzes Dean; he is headed for disaster, or rather, "compulsive psychosis" and something or other with violence.
  • Bull warns Sal about spending too much time with Dean, telling Sal to instead stay with him.
  • Incidentally, turns out that a girl committed suicide off the side of a ferry they passed. Sal felt compelled to tell us this, probably so we would sit around and wonder what it meant. Touché, Sal.
  • Jane gets conked on every possible drug and chills out on the porch with Sal. Meanwhile Ed and Galatea sleep together, Dean rolls a joint, and Bull sits in the bathroom using his tie as a tourniquet while he shoots up.

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