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On the Road

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Poverty Quotes Page 4

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

"Well, then, I’ll put it off." I had no money. I sent my aunt an airmail letter asking her for fifty dollars and said it would be the last money I’d ask; after that she would be getting money back from me, as soon as I got that ship. (I.10.8)

Sal’s aunt becomes a barometer for his monetary situation, as we seem him either sending her or asking her for money. He seems not to be able to strike a balance in between. Like Dean, his activities begin taking the form of extremes.

Quote #11

When I found him in Mill City that morning he had fallen on the beat and evil days that come to young guys in their middle twenties. He was hanging around waiting for a ship, and to earn his living he had a job as a special guard in the barracks across the canyon. His girl Lee Ann had a bad tongue and gave him a calldown every day. They spent all week saving pennies and went out Saturdays to spend fifty bucks in three hours. Remi wore shorts around the shack, with a crazy Army cap on his head. Lee Ann went around with her hair up in pincurls. Thus attired, they yelled at each other all week. 1 never saw so many snarls in all my born days. But on Saturday night, smiling graciously at each other, they took off like a pair of successful Hollywood characters and went on the town. (I.11.6)

Inability to handle money quickly becomes apparent as a universal trait among Sal’s friends.

Quote #12

I looked at Lee Ann. She was a fetching hunk, a honey-colored creature, but there was hate in her eyes for both of us. Her ambition was to marry a rich man. She came from a small town in Oregon. She rued the day she ever took up with Remi. On one of his big showoff weekends he spent a hundred dollars on her and she thought she’d found an heir. Instead she was hung-up in this shack, and for lack of anything else she had to stay there. She had a job in Frisco; she had to take the Greyhound bus at the crossroads and go in every day. She never forgave Remi for it. (I.11.11)

The issue of money in a sexual relationship is interesting, as we see several women who try to use men for their money.

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