Chapter Synopses

Please note: chapters 1. through 15. are latest edits, as is the abridged ‘teaser’ for chapter 20; while they are completed, I have not posted chapters: 8. 21. 23. nor 24.  Go back to entire book synopsis.

  1. Baja (Dec. 17) intrigues the reader with the narration beginning mid-flight, somewhere in Mexico (Ensenada): Why are they in Mexico? What are they doing? Where are they going? Without addressing the questions, the reader is drawn further into the rabbit hole as the unabashedly subjective narration immerses the reader in the perspective of the protagonist through a series of incidents: he is: driven by reason(s) unknown to the reader, furthermore, hints are dropped, which suggest that the protagonist himself does not understand why he is driven, thus; the reader does learn that the protagonist is seeking freedom to experience the world around him, now, and that he has an aversion to ‘administration’.
  1. The Crossing (Dec. 19) starts to set up the primary conflict in the plot: Man against the machine, where the machine is the amalgam of corrupted organizations and administrations, amoral national and supra-national for profit corporations, and indoctrinated controlling, fundamentally hypocritical social and cultural norms; Dean rails against these indoctrinated behavioural controls, frustrated at the difficulty of releasing himself from them while unwilling to compromise his ‘integrity’.
  1. drive (Dec. 21) through narration of the ongoing road trip, including 36 hours of continuous driving from the ferry port town Topolobampo, through Mexico City, Oaxaca, to Tehuantepec; paints a picture of (a different way of life from 1st-world countries) the environment/socio-economic conditions, of where they are and where they are headed; fills in the back story of the trip, and details of what has happened before the beginning of the book, heading; this chapter also introduces literary techniques of comparative histories of the same event(s), by various narrative tools to illustrate the inherent subjectivity of the human condition.
  1. Antigua (Dec. 23) the narration of the journey from Tehuantepec (Mexico), to leaving Antigua, Guatemala establishes a social context around the global first-world Y2K readiness program, a program which was suggestively promoted as potentially life-or-death for citizens, but actually only representing a potential catastrophe for organizational/corporate interests, with little actual inherent risk for citizens; the reader is introduced to the ridiculously convoluted border administration, which inherently fosters avoidance of responsibility by processors, while enabling endemic graft; we are introduced to Nick Black, who will be continuing with Dean and John, in their road trip southward.
  1. Borders (Dec. 25) using the narrative backdrop of the progress through Latin America, and how Dean reacts to the challenges encountered, the true conflict and thesis of the book is established (p.145 ln7): Dean is angry about the way he reacts (getting so worked up when a situation goes off expectations; “I wasn’t born like this. Where did it come from?”) → he attributes it to social programming, aligned to the profit interests of large corporations → he disputes the cited benefits by de-conflagrates ‘increased standard of living’ from increased quality of life → he disputes the dismissal of costs by trying to illustrate how working virtually accounts to enslavement by measure of miniscule leisure time afforded to citizens/participants → corporations actively shaping human perspectives towards a future focus and minimization of variables (which may risk expected/planned outcomes) → Dean claims that humans can only really be aware in the present, and thus the change of awareness focus to an obsession with the future robs humans of awareness of existence; this reason begins to supplant the faux reason, so far presented in the first act. 
  1. Yawn (Dec. 30) resolves and let’s fade away the original impetus for Dean to leave, (the faux reason/plot) i.e. getting away from the foretold Y2K cataclysm, and experiencing the calm, when people release all external, enforced prerogatives, and permit themselves a fleeting freedom to do as they (internally-driven) want; the first raft of key players in the new setting (living in Costa Rica), are introduced. Dean is left without: a. his support players from his first-world network, b. a place to stay, and even more disorienting, without c. a reason. 
  1. Green and Grey (Jan. 03) this chapter renders the originally presented ‘objective’ for the trip, and more importantly, the associated expectations, to rest, i.e. NOT in Zarcero, NOT hot, sunny tropical climes, and while the alluded to affair more closely matches Dean’s original expectations, it accentuates his ‘aloneness’; this chapter initiates the ‘finding of a reason’, therefore, begins the second act of the novel; on the ground, Dean starts a readjust from the flight on the road, and, through a compromise (driven more by his need for stability above his original expectations), and benefitting from seemingly extraordinary good-faith efforts of practical strangers, Dean gratefully receives the basic benefits of a place to stay, not in Zarcero, but in the nearby tiny mountain puebla of Palmira; key players, Tom and Jerry, Mariposo and Martilla are introduced; Tom represents the fading and stagnant American dream, out-of-touch with world realities outside of the consumption-obsessed ‘first-world’ industrialized societies’ expectations; by the unusually strong El Nino, it is cold and rainy in the perch in Palmira/Zarcero; notwithstanding the presentation of previously prepared written material associated with the trip, for web publication, we have in the narrative, for the first time, Dean actually writing about ‘the trip’, representing a foundational plot milestone, writing. 
  1. Lunar Eclipse (Jan. 20) [not on web site] the reader is immersed into Dean’s writing efforts by the captured writing, interceded with thoughtful reflection, concerning the short road trips done with his visitor; the intercession of attempts at writing and the less constrained reflections illustrate the divergence between ‘public’ accountings of events and personal objective-subjective recounting of events; Dean starts having suspicions that the car in not working properly, which causes stress, associated with driving; the car starts to become established as an analogy to post-war values, and we start to have a setup of criticisms of ‘first-world’ industrialized societies and cultural norms, including considerations of concepts presented in Manufacturing Consent (Noam Chompsky); introduction of key players in the Montalba setting, and sets up the dichotomy existence for Dean, between Palmira/Zarcero and Montalba; critically, though unbeknownst to Dean (waking consciousness), the key act of writing, initiates an investigation into the oppression that Dean feels in the first-world society, which he will identify and develop strategies to undermine it, central to the fight-back, will be sharing the identification and fight-back’ strategies with others, by writing; so, unbeknownst to Dean, his real struggle begins here! 
  1. Strange (Jan. 28) sets the pattern for events that challenge pre-conceived expectations, and thereby necessitate adaptation, and growth of perspective; narratively follows a necessary journey to renew the temporary importation permit for the car; after the long drive down, and trouble with the car during the previous chapter, Dean is reluctant to embark on major journeys, but must in this case; Dean passes a milestone while at the border office, by releasing unnecessary expectations, (and incumbent fear associated with failing to meet those expectations), the anxiety associated with taking on the challenge dissipates, and the accomplishment of the task is completed easily; then altruistically (also practicing acceptance of random chance promoting variables into his progression) giving a ride to a ‘strange’ Canadian woman and her two American travelling companions, the one American woman leaving her passport in the car foists an unwanted responsibility onto Dean, which he dreads, though won’t forsake; the issue is resolved easily, after Dean decides to NOT worry about it, at the completion of the chapter, presents the concept of self-release from anxiety about something and the issue either self-resolving, or resolving easily; the chapter marks the end of Dean’s first month in Costa Rica. 
  1. Stranger (Jan. 30) challenges to pre-conceived expectations, and resulting growth continues; the concept of releasing anxiety is reinforced in this chapter by Dean letting go of the fear-driven behaviour of trying to over-control a situation, like a corporate control paradigm, and rather, having the confidence to deal with situations, as they come along, thus Dean begins putting into practice the concept of fostering ‘random chance’ in one’s life, even if it has to be planned; the narrative follows the arrival of a stranger, visiting Dean; Dean is at first disappointed that the woman isn’t a prospective sexual conquest, but then setting off, with little plan to show her the country, becoming a back-drop for encountering unplanned events and how they are dealt with. 
  1. Clouds (Feb. 8) floats along reflections of positive outcomes from Dean’s adoption of not setting expectations: he is starting to enjoy his existence in Palmira, but the anchor of the car, symbolic/analogous to the American post-war obsessive consumerist culture, (not included explicitly in book: which created an entire class structure based on era of birth, enjoying rights, enabled by advancements in technology, in the complete absence of even an awareness of the associated responsibilities, indebting future generations to be required to pay with increased responsibilities, and decreased rights); the dehumanizing effects of the corporate hegemony are echoed in criticisms of religious devotion; Dean begins trying to shed the car; Dean becomes increasingly involved with an American woman, Tanya, who lives in Zarcero; this chapter further advances the key concept of the book on the inherent, gross, subjectivity of human perception and the impermanence (and impertinence) of human thought and consideration.
  1. Association (Mar. 03) despite yet not understanding the mechanics of the oppression he feels (analogous to all citizens), compelled to break free of, receiving visitors and ongoing challenges with the car, force Dean to make perceptual adaptations which end up resulting in outcomes that enrich his existence, i.e. more fulfilment in living in Palmira (representative of isolation in local, communal mores); the ongoing breakdowns of the car (representative of ‘first-world’ social infrastructures and institutions), force Dean to adapt carless strategies, symbolizing the pending need for fundamental social changes; yet he clings to it, as necessary, for living in Palmira; as his drive to rid himself of the car gather momentum, he forsakes Palmira, and by the end of this chapter, his pending move from Palmira is all but done.
  1. Leaving Palmira (Mar. 12) is an ode to not being patient enough to ‘realize the beauty of now’ due to legacy of rigid expectations and an inadequate confidence in the face of required dramatic change in perception of living without car (‘first-world’ social infrastructures and institutions) which ultimately will have to be abandoned or result in complete destruction; but ends with Dean abandoning all future ‘worries’ for the joy of having such a beautiful ‘now’, thus hope.
  1. San Rafael (Mar. 12) the name of the barrio in Montalba, where casa gringo is located, and Dean now resides, narrates Dean’s ‘searching for a reason’; Dean has begun sharing his doubts about why he is on this trip, and at a higher perspective, what he’s doing in his life?; in this chapter he is seeking a reason, trying to get back on track with ‘living the experience’, apparently not cognizant to him, while others seem less ignorant that he is indeed, ‘living the life’; Dean’s continued perseverance in writing suggests that documenting the story of the identification of the (purposefully camouflaged) chains of oppression, methods of undermining it, and distribution of that information, is becoming ‘the reason’; Dean is flabbergasted by his postulations on the origination of power accumulation: a. the establishment of permanent structure, b. permanent habitation, c. class/differentiation of labour starting with professional guard/warrior (professional warring class) , d. creation of accounting, thus e. written language, f. banking, and g. real stored human effort in the currency of grain, all happened in the same time; and while not ‘knowing the path’ we see Dean is starting to ‘walk the path’ by his ability to become comfortable in casa gringo by the end of the chapter, which opened with his missing his home in Palmira.
  1. The Roll (Mar. 16) ‘The Roll’ is a double-entendre with ‘the role’, representing the (culturally) prescribed role(s) for individuals in society; the initial scene, Dean’s perception of an extortion attempt by a cop in Siquirres while Dean is actually breaking several laws, while going to the east coast to get marijuana, is allegorical to entrenched social punitive customs, which are rendered impotent with the shared realization of the ultimately self-destructive nature of it, but both the agent imposing the castigation and the victim of it; the chapter continues an elucidation of how the corporate ethos and embedded consumerist indoctrinations are antagonistic with ‘quality’, and the dehumanizing and ultimately utter destructiveness a complete corporate hegemonic control system will have on humanity and the biosphere; Dean states at the close of the chapter that he “…can see the chains now.”
  1. Cantante (Mar. 19) is about identifying and codifying how the corporate ethos has (reified) sublimated natural (imperfect) human culture through obsessive planning and otherwise risk minimizing obsession and how this interferes with human social development, preventing self-actualization, thus optimizing humans for power-harvesting through the ‘free-market’ societies; Dean seeks alternative strategies/approaches to reverse/completely detach from these controls, by observing and analyzing social behaviours in the pre-corporate ethos-immersed societies; the comparison of “On the Road” to “Wayward” as opposite sides to the imbalance of rights and responsibilities, favouring more rights, and less responsibilities through the immediate post-WWII era, while “Wayward” era is in the midst of increasing responsibilities and decreasing rights; in the end Dean is self-conscious at not being able to surrender his (material value form) guitar to Alesandro (representation of imperfect/risk-inherent humanity), combined with Dean’s longing for the more extreme detachment offered in (now) idyllic Palmira for the comparative corruption of Montalba, suggests that any global ‘first-world’ society re-adjustment will be difficult and likely required to occur in stages rather than ‘big bang’.
  1. Running the Bloqueo (Mar. 27) is a rejection of social constructs: all dehumanizing and depersonalizing social institutions, starting with ‘the car’ (all cars), manipulated, depersonalized pricing and costing models, which make it impossible to earn a decent wage/standard of living, while an elite class continues to get ridiculously fiscally bloated, profit (institutional) over quality (personal), and celebrates the direct human-to-human interactions (even the disliking of some ideological minions).
  1. White and Blue (Mar. 28) deconstructs the perceptions from the previous chapter, 17. Running the Bloqueo, and further elaborates on the seemingly logical fit of the indoctrination of planning, and minimizing uncertainty as a planned program of actively controlling the population, and likens it to downloading a personal prison, including, usually, constraining minimal physical upkeep.
  1. I got up (Mar. 31) is a checkpoint, possibly analogizing dean’s post-depraving state to the global social condition, it is an indictment of following and failure to adapt from zealous pursuit in achieving pre-conceived expectations/goals, and the dangers of zealous dogmatic perseverance.
  1. Rain (Apr.1) illustrates the greatest challenge to freedom as conventions and constructs of society (downloaded), otherwise administration, and the falseness of attemptation to realize greater safety by minimizing uncertainty/risk by maximizing ‘planning’, and contingency; identification of the need to actually plan for episodes of random chance, by actively increasing the likelihood of its allowance to happen, at a personal level.
  1. Out! (Apr. 11) [not on web site] having explored romantic ideas of leaving Costa Rica, straight into a subsequent novel situation, i.e. passage on a freighter to a variety of ports, USA/Europe, and feeling increasingly constrained (trapped) by his (finally gained) hot, sexy, (apparently) horny tica, Dean decides definitely to get out as soon as possible; this coincides with the somewhat overwhelming realization, as it sets in, of the grotesque failure and dangers of the corporate hegemonic take-over of humans; yet the faint hope of person-to-person altruism, both receiving and giving, acts almost like an irritation in his acceptance of corporate subversion of humankind; yet symbolically, Dean gets ‘drugged-out’ on pharmaceuticals as part of his ‘re-insertion’ into the corporate-controlled USA.
  1. Landed (Apr. 18) this short chapter illustrates the shock Dean has at being injected into the American culture/society, and begins the final act of the novel, review of the culture of America in light of the realizations that Dean has had about the corporate-ethos subversion of the varieties of human cultures into a dysfunctional, obviously self-destructive corporate-subordinated mono-culture for the 99%+ and the ultra uber-wealth and freedom from all material responsibility of the sociopathic power-mongering class; during his trip to Gainesville and preparations for riding the bike north, he notices the trickle-down graft, corruption and substance-less materialism in society, and has a difficult time makes any acquaintances, let alone substantive ones; he nonetheless, readies himself to begin the riding journey.
  1. Ride (Apr. 21-May 8) [not on web site] Dean is subconsciously comparing costs/benefits of the existing/emerging corporate-controlled hegemony first world society with a pre-civilized environment, with his self-representation of the pre-civilized man, travelling by his own human power through an insane, machine-dominated risk/challenges environment, this is done by comparing the non-civilized environmental risks to the civilized environmental risks, and the benefits of now in nature to out-of-now experiences in social settings, many of the person-to-person encounters with people who are sub-ordinated to corporate values and objectives contrary to human-to-human functional objectives; Dean feels more belonging with nature than in contrived civilized social groups; the contiguous narration ends with Dean at a loss for any reason beyond resisting the rise of the corporate-control hegemony.
  1. froward [not on web site] is the epilogue which amounts to a prescription for mitigating the worst parts of the corporate-control hegemony by advise to his son, across multiple years, in pure dialogue; this chapter attempts to at least address outstanding issues, if not ‘close the loop’ on issues/antagonisms identified through the narration; the reader may readily recognize that Dean the story is not delivering answers to all of the issues, but that it will necessarily be an ongoing struggle; but we do see clearly, that at least Dean has indeed found a reason, for now…

     

    Wayward deancassady

    deancassady Wayward

    Wayward Dean Cassady

    Joel Elwood Wayward 

    Wayward novel

    Wayward the novel  

    Adventure  travel foreign lands

    tags: Dean Cassady  wild sex  society  wayward  adventure  On the Road  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance  As I walked out one midsummer morning  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  Neal Cassady  Joel Elwood Latin America  Central America exotic