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On the Road

On the Road


by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary

  • There’s some turbulence on the home front. Camille freaks out about Dean going out with Slim Gaillard ("orooni" guy, remember?) and is generally afraid that Dean will leave her. Which, given his record, isn’t an altogether unlikely scenario.
  • Meanwhile, Dean and Camille have a second baby on the way.
  • Apparently, after Sal left San Francisco, Dean became obsessed with Marylou – whom he loves – and just watched her have sex with a different sailor every night.
  • Dean smoked some "bad green" (uncured marijuana) and had visions that said he needed to be with Marylou and absolutely must find his father.
  • He ended up at Marylou’s place with a gun (still high) and asked her to kill him. She didn’t, in case that wasn’t imminently clear.
  • Marylou is now married to a threatening car salesman, and Dean has a messed up hand from when he hit her. Now he’s effectively a cripple.
  • But, on a positive note, he thinks they’re learning as they get older and are starting to "know life."
  • So the next morning Camille throws Dean and Sal out.
  • Sal has this moment when he realizes Camille and Galatea are friends, and how these women must sit around talking about what to do with their crazy men.
  • Sal came up with a simple and easy way to describe Dean: he doesn't care about anything, but he also cares about everything. Of course! And it’s because of his injured thumb.
  • Sal realizes that it’s his responsibility to take care of poor, mad, battered and crippled Dean. And Dean wants to go to New York.
  • Since Sal has money left from that rich girls' hundred dollar bill, they decide on New York and then...Italy. Why not?
  • There is a completely intense moment after Sal proposes that they go to Italy where Dean just stares at him. It’s very intricate and psychological, and Sal pretty much says that Dean begins to realize how important he is in Sal’s mind.
  • So they just pretend that moment never happened and Dean gets all excited.

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