Study Guide

Big Sur Chapter 12

By Jack Kerouac

Chapter 12

  • Both Dave and Jack are excited to see Cody – whom Jack cites as one of his reasons for traveling to the west coast in the first place.
  • Cody lives 50 miles away in Los Gatos; Jack calls him up and they make plans to meet that night.
  • So they bring alcohol and pile into Dave's Jeep.
  • There are no seats in the back so they've stuck a mattress there for everyone. As they drive, Jack compares the jeep to the font porch of a house – everyone rocking back and forth (because the seats are broken) and talking.
  • As they drive past housing tracts and factories Dave laments the population explosion in America, and the fact that "the world hasn't any chance to produce say a writer whose life could really actually touch all this life in every detail."
  • He and Jack talk about what Jack calls "the too-much-ness of the world" – they are both humbled by the sheer numbers of things and people and writers and books and ideas.
  • In the backseat of the Jeep are Ron Blake along with Stanley Popovich from New York and his girl Jamie. When the thought of the too-much-ness of the world gets overwhelming, Jack and the others "agree it's too big to keep up with" and simply buy another bottle of Scotch.

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