Study Guide

Big Sur Chapter 20

By Jack Kerouac

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Chapter 20

  • Jack spends this chapter talking about Arthur Ma and comparing him to George Baso (as they are both his oriental friends).
  • George seems more enlightened, but Arthur is warmer and friendlier. Both are small. Arthur is Monsanto's best friend and they make an incredibly odd pair.
  • Arthur is the son of a famous Chinatown family and 30 years old, though he looks like a kid sometimes. He just separated from his wife, who Monsanto says is the most beautiful black girl he's ever seen in his life.
  • Arthur's family disapproved of his painting and so he now lives alone in North Beach. His father was a poet.
  • Jack finds "something anciently familiar about his loyal presence" and wonders if he knew the man in another life.
  • Jack finds it sad that they have no record of the random things they were yelling back and forth across the fire, and provides several more examples that, if you want to read, you should check them out in your book.

Big Sur Chapter 20 Study Group

Ask questions, get answers, and discuss with others.

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

This is a premium product

Please Wait...