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On the Road

On the Road


by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Poverty Quotes

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

Quote #28

I went to see a rich girl I knew. In the morning she pulled a hundred-dollar bill out of her silk stocking and said, "You’ve been talking of a trip to Frisco; that being the case, take this and go and have your fun." So all my problems were solved and I got a travel-bureau car for eleven dollars’ gas-fare to Frisco and zoomed over the land. (III.1.6)

Sal’s "rich girl" is an odd addition to the text, and seems a thinly veiled device to move the plot forward.

Quote #29

Ed Wall sat just staring at his hands. Dean ate voraciously. He wanted me to go along with him in the fiction that I owned the Cadillac, that I was a very rich man and that he was my friend and chauffeur. It made no impression on Ed Wall.


"Well, I hope you boys make it to New York." Far from believing that tale about my owning the Cadillac, he was convinced Dean had stolen it. (III.8.22, III.8.24)

Dean’s criminality and his poverty are immediately evident to those around them.

Quote #30

In ten minutes he came loping into the bar with Stan Shephard. They’d both had a trip to France and were tremendously disappointed with their Denver lives. They loved Henry and bought him beers. He began spending all his penitentiary money left and right. Again I was back in the soft, dark Denver night with its holy alleys and crazy houses. We started hitting all the bars in town, roadhouses out on West Colfax, Five Points Negro bars, the works. (IV.2.12)

We see a connection between criminality and poor money management in the character of Henry Glass.

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