Notes on On the Road Themes

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On the Road Topic Tracking: Generosity

Generosity 1: Salvatore Paradise immediately accepts a stranger into his home and gains his friendship. This immediate and unconditionalforgiving acceptance is a character trait that follows Salvatore throughout the book.

Generosity 2: Sal accepts a fellow hitchhiker immediately and not only gives him friendship, but he also pays for his bus ticket and gives him a shirt. The rides that Sal receives themselves are tokens of benevolence, andbut Sal goes out of his way to help others in a similar situation. His attitude contrasts greatly with that of Eddie, the man he helps, who abandons him as soon as he gets the chance.

Generosity 3: Sal splits whiskey with fellow travelers and shares his cigarettes when others, like Montana Slim, refuse to do so. In the end, he buys cigarettes for two less fortunate than him and does not regret losing the money.

Generosity 4: Sal and Remi, even though they are hard up, they split the stolen groceries with a widow who is more needy than they are.

Generosity 5: Terry is more than willing to work to support Sal. This is the measure of her love. In a similar way, Sal toils in the cotton field for a subsistence wage for Terry and her son.

Generosity 6: Sal meets more people who are willing to help him: the girl with whom he makes out who buys him lunches, and the salesman who gives him a ride and food, though meager. His aunt gives shelter to Dean, a man she has met but a few times.

Generosity 7: Sal's family accepts the wayward travelers. The restaurant gives Sal and his companions free food in exchange for washed dishes. Sal's Aunt pays for Dean's speeding ticket and makes them all a big breakfast when they get back to New York.

Generosity 8: Even though Dean has not been staying with him, Sal lends him money to send to Camille.

Generosity 9: Although Dean and Sal maintain their customary generosity in this section, as they pick up hitchhikers regardless of whether or not they have money, Sal has lost all of his compassion by the end of his latest stay in San Francisco. Dean forgets about Marylou and Sal in lieu of his return to Camille. Even though Camille and Dean are hungry, Sal keeps his sandwiches, which he knows will not be enough to get him across the country anyway.

Generosity 10: This unnamed woman also gives him a bottle of bourbon later on. Sal does not elaborate on her identity, she merely gives freely to him.

Generosity 11: Sal does not think twice about paying for Ddean to go to New York with him or paying for Dean to get to Italy with him usingwith the proceeds from his first book.

Generosity 12: Both Sal and Dean transgress others' generosity in this section. Sal writes a letter to Old Bull Lee bragging about his woman benefactor. Dean breaks athe a record belonging toof the Okie woman with whom they are staying.

Generosity 13: Dean, thousands of miles from home, finds a great amount of empathy for poor native girls and trades his watch for one of their crystals. On the other hand, as soon as he gets his divorce, he abandons Sal and Stan Shepherd as he heads back towards New York.

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