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Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” Quotes (85 Quotes)


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  • I looked up at the dark sky and prayed to God for a better break in life and a better chance to do something for the little people I loved.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • In my madness I was actually in love with her for the few hours it all lasted; it was the same unmistakable ache and stab across the mind, the same sighs, the same pain, and above all the same reluctance and fear to approach.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • And so we picked up our bags, he the trunk with his one good arm and I the rest, and staggered to the cable-car stop; in a moment rolled down the hill with our legs dangling to the sidewalk from the jiggling shelf, two broken-down heroes of the Western night.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • The road must eventually lead to the whole world.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


  • He seems to me to be headed for his ideal fate, which is compulsive psychosis dashed with a jigger of psychopathic irresponsibility and violence
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • We lay on our backs looking at the ceiling and wondering what God had wrought when he made life so sad and disinclined.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I never saw such crazy musicians. Everybody in Frisco blew. It was the end of the continent; they didn't give a damn.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • In the hall itself the din of the music - for this is the real way to play a jukebox and what it was originally for - was so tremendous that it shattered Dean and Stan and me for a moment in the realization that we had never dared to play music as we wanted, and this was how loud we wanted.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Oh these dumb dumb dumb Okies, they'll never change, how com-pletely and how unbelievably dumb, the moment it comes time to act, this paralysis, scared, hysterical, nothing frightens em more than what they WANT- it's MY FATHER MY FATER MY FATHER all over again!
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • And though Remi was having worklife problems and bad lovelife with a sharp-tongued woman, he at least had learned to laugh almost better than anyone in the world, and I saw all the fun we were going to have in Frisco.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled - Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon field; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • He wasn't drunk on liquor, just drunk on what he liked - crowds of people milling.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • We tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


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