On the Road Part One, Chapters 9-10: Summary and Analysis
by Jack Kerouac

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Part One, Chapters 9-10: Summary and Analysis

New Character:
Babe Rawlins: Ray’s beautiful blond sister

Sal and his friends, minus Dean and Carlo, drive to Central City, an old mining town west of Denver. In its heyday, Central City was a rich silver mining area, but now it’s just a tourist trap. One outstanding feature of the town is the beautiful old Opera House. Every year, Central City hosts a well-known opera company that performs in the old theater.

Sal and his friends plan to host a party in the town, although they have nowhere to stay. Babe Rawlins, Ray’s sister, knows of an old miner’s shack they can use if they clean it up. Everyone gets to work, scrubbing and dusting the old shack, while Sal and Babe head off to the opera.

After the opera, Sal, Babe, and a big crowd return to the shack for the party. It turns into such a loud, boisterous scene that Sal and his friends decide to leave and tour the local bar scene. The narrow streets of the town are jammed, and the bars are filled with people from the opera. Ray Rawlins gets into a fight. They all stagger drunkenly around town, and finally go to sleep. The next day, after they return to Denver, Sal starts to think it might be time to leave Colorado and head for San Francisco.

Back in Denver, Sal continues to feel frustrated about his love life. Dean decides to help him out and sets him up with the waitress, Rita Bettencourt. Sal and Rita make love in Sal’s bedroom and Sal laments his poor performance. Rita tells Sal that she’s bored with life and has no plans to do anything. Sal is amazed by this and tries to tell her how exciting life is for him.

Later, Sal wanders around Denver. He stretches out on the grass with some hoboes. He is anxious to get on the road again. He wanders around town and ends up at Carlo’s place where he spends the night listening to Carlo read his poetry.

After his aunt wires him another 50 dollars, Sal says goodbye to his friends and boards a bus for San Francisco.

In Central City, the boom town gone bust, Sal and his friends throw a big party that, in the end, turns out to be a bust, too. Ray Rawlins gets in a fight and everyone ends up drunk, roaming around on the streets. Sal eventually finds a peaceful moment far from the revelry, enjoying the...

(The entire section is 631 words.)