Book Notes Part 1, Chapter 11 Notes from On the Road

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On the Road Part 1, Chapter 11

Sal is two weeks late meeting Remi Boncoeur. He arrives in San Fran and walks around. Mill city, where Remi lives, is "the only community in America where whites and Negroes lived together voluntarily; and that was so, and so wild and joyous a place I've never seen since." Part 1, Chapter 11, page 60

He finds Remi's house with a note that tells him to enter through the window. Sal had been in prep school with Remi, who introduced him to his former wife. Remi gets up from bed with his wife Lee Ann. Remi is happy to see Sal, although he warns him not to fool around with Lee Ann. Sal is supposed to write a story line for Remi to take and sell in Hollywood. He writes it, but it's too sad. Sal gets a job with Remi as a security guard at the Army barracks. He goes to work with Remi's gun and plays cowboy in the dark, alone for the night. He tries to break up a party in the barracks but ends up getting drunk with them and raises the flag up upside down in the morning. The next night he gets interrogated by other security guards and is afraid he will lose his job. Sal admits he is not cut out to be a cop. Some men are making noise again, and Sal thinks that they should give them a third chance. Sledge, one of the other cops, decides to bust the party.

"This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink the night? But Sledge wanted to prove something." Part 1, Chapter 11, pg. 68

Nothing really happens from the bust. Sal is unhappy with his job. Some nights, Remi works with him. Remi goes around trying to find unlocked doors. One night he runs into the Barracks supervisor and concocts some story about looking for a mop. They break into the cafeteria and steal food, justifying it as need, quoting President Truman's request that Americans "cut down on the cost of living." This becomes a catch phrase. They eventually get away with a giant box of groceries. Sal mentions leaving San Fran. He has been making fifty-five dollars a week and sending the greater part of it home to his aunt. The next day, they row out to an abandoned freighter off the shore. Lee Ann sunbathes nude. Sal thinks that he wants her and says that he would like to sleep in the ship some night. Remi bets him five dollars that he wouldn't. Dean and Carlo had responded to his letters with a promise to come and visit soon. Remi and Lee Ann go to Hollywood with his script but they have no success. Remi saves a lot of money for the racetrack, and after giving half of the groceries to a widow with children, they get all dressed up and go to the race track. Remi is broke by the seventh race. They hitch home.

Lee Ann thinks that they are hiding money from her and threatens to leave. She goes to get Remi's gun, but Remi tells Sal to hide it. Remi calms her down by saying that his wealthy stepfather is coming to town and he wants to impress him. Remi asks them both to act the parts of the letters he has been writing to him. Everyone calms down.

Saturday night comes and Sal has left his job because he is ready to travel. He gets drunk before they meet Remi's stepfather. Remi has borrowed one hundred dollars and spends fifty at the restaurant. Roland Major happens to be there. Drunk, he sits down with them and says that he is working on a San Francisco paper. Roland is deliberately rude to the stepfather, who is from France. Roland gets kicked out of the restaurant. Sal follows him to a bar. Roland wants to get into a fight with a homosexual man, but doesn't. Sal stays in San Francisco one more day to climb a mountain.

Topic Tracking: Generosity 4
Topic Tracking: Father 2
Topic Tracking: Beat Generation 5

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