Study Guide

Big Sur Chapter 30

By Jack Kerouac

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Chapter 30

  • Finally Ben Fagan arrives, alone, to rescue Jack.
  • Ben tells his friend, who's been sitting in Billie's chair for about a week, that he needs to sleep.
  • Jack, slightly out of it, remembers making a giggly phone call to his publisher on behalf of McLear, who wants to get his poem, "Dark Brown," published.
  • Jack and Ben end up getting a bottle of alcohol and going out to the park, though Jack passes out asleep before he can have anything to drink. Ben watches over him while he sleeps.
  • The two of them end up conversing back and forth the same way Jack and Arthur did over the fire on the beach – with a series of seemingly random comments.
  • The two men walk around until sunset when they head home arm in arm. Jack feels as though Ben has watched over him all day, has blessed him somehow and given him the only peaceful day he's had outside of his solitude in Monsanto's cabin.
  • Ben reminds Jack that in 1957 he claimed to be the greatest thinker in the world. "That was before I fell asleep and woke up," says Jack. "Now I realize I'm no good at all and that makes me feel free."

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