Study Guide

Big Sur Chapter 24

By Jack Kerouac

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Chapter 24

  • At McLear's place Jack is entertained by Pat's entrance to the living room with a hawk on his shoulder. Jack calls him Handsome Hawk McLear and understands why he always writes about dark things. They get more wine and head back to Monsanto's cabin.
  • On the road, Jack observes Cody's driving – it always gives you a sense of doom, not because he'll lose control of the car but because the car might suddenly head straight up to heaven.
  • Cody is talking endlessly. Tomorrow, he says, they'll all see a play together and then they'll drop off Evelyn and the kids and head into the city to meet Cody's mistress.
  • Cody wants to leave Jack alone with her so he can talk and teach her everything he knows.
  • Jack explains that Cody always likes to set Jack up with his women. He loves Cody like a brother, though they have a strange relationship in that each reminds the other of his father.
  • Jack remembers having shared a woman in the past (Marylou was her name in On the Road), and feels their relationship is "some kind of new thing in the world actually where men can really be angelic friends and not be homosexual and not fight over girls."
  • The only thing they ever do fight about, he says, is money, or once marijuana.
  • That night Jack sleeps by the creek in his sleeping bad, while Cody's kids stay in the jeep (because they're afraid of the woods).
  • The next morning Ron is frustrated because Evelyn wouldn't have sex with him.
  • Evelyn's irritated that Cody keeps pushing men on her instead of letting her have her own choice. Besides, she says, she's "sick of all this sex business" which is why she likes Jack so much.
  • Jack remembers the first time he met her and shudders to think of that some-other lifetime in which Evelyn really will get him. "I seriously do believe that will be my salvation, too," he writes.

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