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On the Road

On the Road


by Jack Kerouac

On the Road Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes

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

Quote #10

"You see, man, Prez has the technical anxieties of a money-making musician, he’s the only one who’s well dressed, see him grow worried when he blows a clinker, but the leader, that cool cat, tells him not to worry and just blow and blow - the mere sound and serious exuberance of the music is all he cares about. He’s an artist. He’s teaching young Prez the boxer. Now the others dig!!" The third sax was an alto, eighteen-year-old cool, contemplative young Charlie-Parker-type Negro from high school, with a broadgash mouth, taller than the rest, grave. He raised his horn and blew into it quietly and thoughtfully and elicited birdlike phrases and architectural Miles Davis logics. These were the children of the great bop innovators. (III.10.3)

Sal and Dean’s student-teacher relationship is mirrored in the musical world.

Quote #11

"Now, Sal, we’re leaving everything behind us and entering a new and unknown phase of things. All the years and troubles! and kicks - and now this! so that we can safely think of nothing else and just go on ahead with our faces stuck out like this you see, and understand the world as, really and genuinely speaking, other Americans haven’t done before us - they were here, weren’t they? The Mexican war. Cutting across here with cannon." (IV.5.5)

For Dean, the journey into Mexico becomes a further search for knowledge.

Quote #12

Dig all the foolish stories you read about Mexico and the sleeping gringo and all that crap - and crap about greasers and so on - and all it is, people here are straight and kind and don’t put down any bull. I’m so amazed by this." Schooled in the raw road night, Dean was come into the world to see it. He bent over the wheel and looked both ways and rolled along slowly. (IV.5.11)

While Dean is comfortable teaching, he is most interested in learning, stopping his talking to absorb information from the world around him.

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