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On the Road

On the Road


by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Part 4, Chapter 3 Summary

  • Sal explains the current living situation in Babe Rawlins’s house, and how Babe’s Aunt Charity is this old woman that has a lot of energy for her age. There’s also a guy named Tom who’s in love with Babe. Meanwhile Babe is in love with Tim Gray.
  • Dean shows up with Roy Johnson.
  • He does indeed seem to be mad again, rushing about and yammering on about time.
  • The whole gang is around in Denver, so they have a sort of reunion during which Dean holds the floor and talks.
  • Dean has some curious behavior in which he sits silent for a long time, then talks, and then introduces himself to everyone. Sal interprets this as: Dean is "finally an Angel." Not exactly where we were going with that, but OK.
  • They go drinking at the same saloon that Dean used to live in with his drunk father.
  • Remember Sal’s vision of the big snake? NO!? Well look it over, because it comes up here again.
  • Sal is pumped about the trip, because he’s tried going east and then west and then east again, but man oh man, he’s never gone south!
  • Now they’re going to find IT. You know, whatever IT is.
  • There’s this really chilling moment where Stan goes to say good-bye to his grandfather, and the grandfather begs him not to go, begs Dean not to "take him away." Eerie stuff.
  • Dean discusses the differences between the graffiti in bathrooms on the East Coast vs. in the West.
  • Sal realizes that Stan is fleeing his grandfather, Dean’s looking for his father, and Sal’s own father is dead. These three men set off together.
  • Sal has a vision of an old man with white hair. He had this vision once before in Denver.

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