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The Crying Of Lot 49 By Thomas Pynchon

2151 words - 9 pages

Whether a person’s life is something experienced authentically, or factually written down as literature, there are more complexities faced then there are simplicities on a daily basis. This multifariousness causes constant bewilderment and hesitation before any sort of important decision a person must make in his or her life. When it comes to characters of the written words, as soon sensations of ambiguity, uncertainty, and paranoia form, the outlook and actions of these characters are what usually result in regrettable decisions and added anxiety for both that character as well as the reader. Examples of these themes affecting characters in the world of fiction are found in the novel The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, and the play Glengarry Glen Ross written by David Mamet. Throughout both of these texts, characters such as Oedipa Maas who allows these emotions to guide her in her journey of self discovery, and Shelly Levene who is so overcome with these emotions that they become his downfall. For both of these characters, these constant emotional themes are what guide their most impulsive actions, which can generally also become regrettable decisions. Even though it is a distinguishing factor of human beings, when these characters are portrayed in print, it somehow seems to affect the reader more, because they are able to see the fictional repercussions, and also know how they could have been avoided.
Oedipa Mass is the protagonist of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, who looks into her ex-boyfriend Pierce Inverarity’s life and legacy after she is named executor of his estate upon his death. As she examines Pierce’s life, she begins to discover details about herself that she was never sure existed before. The only thing she knows from the start to end of the novel is that she is more than just the wife of the famous car salesman turned radio disk jockey Wendell “Mucho” Mass, not only because she wants to do more with her life, but because she knows she has enough character and ambition to be able to thrive in a normal work environment. Her inner struggle of her life with Mucho in California has always been monotonous to her, as made clear when she describes her husband’s previous job as “the endless rituals of trade-in, week after week…and so were too plausible” (Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, 5). However, it is because she knew no other life, she did not know how to escape that tedium she felt she was trapped inside. When Oedipa meets with her lawyer to discuss Pierce’s will, the detective that was hidden inside her reveals itself as she discovers something strangely important, yet bizarre, connections revolving around Tristero –something Oedipa assumes is a medieval postal system. When Oedipa takes a trip to San Narciso to Pierce’s estate, she follows the Tristero clues from his property to a plant, a nursing home, a theatre, and San Francisco.
Though these clues Oedipa tracks down are ambiguous, and she is not entirely certain...

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