A Confederacy Of Dunces Essay

984 words - 4 pages

A Confederacy of Dunces was written in 1962 by John Kennedy Toole. Toole was born in 1937 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mary Vespa of Time magazine states ?Toole was a precious child. Skipping first and forth grades, he entered Tulane on a scholarship at 16. After graduating in 1958, he got his M.A. in English from Colombia the following year?(57). Toole began writing A Confederacy of Dunces in 1962 and finished in 1963. During these two years Toole was an Army corporal in Puerto Rico. In 1963, after Toole had finished writing A Confederacy of Dunces, he began speaking with a man by the name of Robert Gottlieb. Gottlieb was an editor that Toole was corresponding with about the publication of his book. Gottlieb was working for a company by the name of Simon and Schuster. In 1968, while still living at home with his parents, Toole was studying for his Ph.D. at Tulane and teaching at St. Mary Dominican College in New Orleans. While working and studying, Toole discovered that Simon and Schuster had rejected his novel which caused him to become very depressed. According to Mary Vespa ?Toole resigned his teaching position and disappeared for two months,... his body was found soon after , in Biloxi, Mississippi?(57). Toole had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Thalma Toole, John Toole?s mother, began submitting her sons book to different publishers until she found someone who would read it. Walker Percy was the first person to take the time to read the book. Percy stated in the Louisiana State University Press ?I read on. And on. First with a sinking feeling that it was not bad enough to quit, then with a prickle of interest, then with a growing excitement, and finally an incredulity: surely it was not possible that it was that good?(441).A Confederacy of Dunces takes place in New Orleans with the main character as a man named Ignatius Reilly. Reilly is described as ? a monumental slob whose mere appearance on the streets of New Orleans makes policemen itch to arrest him?(Gray 78). He is also described as a ?hopeless, fat, pathetic, hilarious New Orleans loser extraordinaire?(Hardy 2). The story begins with Reilly standing in front of a department store waiting for his mother to return. The police see him standing there and find him suspicious. After seeing him they approach him and begin to question him. Reilly begins to irritate the officers with his responses to the questions. ?His haughty replies, bespeaking an elaborate education and a general distaste for the world, irritate the policeman who attempts to arrest him?(Gay 35). A bystander begins to voice his opinion and to ? denounce the officer as a communiss?(Gay 35). With this denouncement, other shoppers began to input their opinion. When Reilly?s mother returns, she sees what is unfolding and rescues her son. With all the chaos,...

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