Essay on Symbolic Deconstruction in Thos Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49

Essay on Symbolic Deconstruction in Thos Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49

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Symbolic Deconstruction in The Crying of Lot 49

 
   The paths leading toward knowledge (of self, of others, of the world around us) are circuitous. Thomas Pynchon, in his novel The Crying of Lot 49, seems to attempt to lead the reader down several of these paths simultaneously in order to illustrate this point. Our reliance on symbols as efficient translators of complex notions is called into question. Beginning with the choice of symbolic or pseudo-symbolic name, Oedipa Maas, for the central character of his novel, Pynchon expands his own investigation of symbol as Oedipa also attempts to unravel the mysteries surrounding the muted horn of the Tristero.

 

            In choosing names that conjure up other images/ideas which may or may not reflect directly upon the character to whom the name belongs, does Pynchon attempt to underscore or undermine the entire notion of symbol as an authentic source of insight? The answer may well be both, I am aware, but let us continue down this path awhile longer. Consider one name, Oedipa Maas, for a moment. Classical allusions to t...

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