A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

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Journal One:
A Confederacy of Dunces

Chapter One:
Plot: Ignatius waited for Mrs. Reilly outside the department store. A policeman attempted to apprehend Ignatius; a mob ensued with the result of an old man being arrested for calling the policeman a communist. Mrs. Reilly and Ignatius escape to a local bar in which the bartender treats them with a lack of respect as well as eavesdrops on their conversation about Ignatius’ trip to Baton Rouge.
The old man, Claude Robichaux, was brought before the police sergeant as well as the officer who brought him in. A black man named Jones made comments during the man’s “interrogation” and was repeatedly told to shut up by name, giving the idea that this wasn’t the first time Jones had been there.
Returning to the Night of Joy bar, Ignatius’ mother sells her hat to a young gentleman for fifteen dollars while Ignatius tells his bus story to a regular customer by the name of Darlene. Mrs. Reilly has a little too much to drink and begins to weave a tale of domestic mistreatment by her boy and Darlene loses interest in Ignatius. Ms. Lee, the bar’s patron returns from a few hours of shopping and kicks the Reillys out of the bar. When Mrs. Reilly tries to drive away from the city, she demolishes a Voltzwagon parked behind the massive ’46 Plymouth and crumbles a balcony of a building she hits. The officer from Ignatius’ previous incident ends the chapter with his arrival in a most awkward costume, punishment for his earlier dealings.
Character: Ignatius is a highly intelligent, socially awkward, and interesting character. Plump and at least a little bit apprehensive towards the world in general, he wears an odd assortment of clothing and pines for his lost lumber jacket. He is 30, unemployed and lives with his mother. He spent eight years of college getting a masters degree in an as of yet undisclosed discipline, possibly having to do with medieval history based upon his one known job interview with the head of Medieval Studies in Baton Rouge.
Mrs. Reilly is Ignatius’ mother. She has arthritis of the elbow and shows a genuine interest in the well being of her child while on the same time feels a slight feeling of resentment of his overpowering each and every conversation as well as the trouble he finds himself in.
Claude Robichaux was the old man who tried to defend Ignatius by calling the policeman a communist.

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He has six grandchildren who study with nuns. He is a member of several societies and seems to be well respected by those who know him, even to the point where he openly weeps while pleading with the sergeant not to call his family.
Mr. Jones is a black man who was falsely accused of stealing from a store called Woolsworth. He explained the plight of blacks in New Orleans and their mistreatment. He is known by name by the police in the station. He is never seen without his signature black sunglasses which hide all readability of facial expressions.
Patrolman Mancuso was the arresting officer with both Mr. Robichaux and the attempt he made with Ignatius. As punishment for these actions, his sergeant has forced him to wear different costumes each day because of his new position. He has been charged with apprehending all suspicious characters. He is dangerously close to losing his job on the force.
Ms. Lee owns the Night of Joy bar, a bar with failing business and an open janitorial position.
Darlene is a blonde customer of the Night of Joy bar, a regular by the situation she is placed in when the Reillys are forced to leave.
Setting: New Orleans during the red scare, most likely the second such scare. It is a chilly day, forcing the wearing of heavy clothing.
The Night of Joy bar is a seedy strip bar at night, a most unwelcoming place for our two Reillys.
Structure: Three sections with different settings.

Chapter Two:
Plot: Ignatius wakes to write more of his social commentary on his big chief tablets. Once he finishes writing, he takes part in a male activity and falls back onto his bed wondering where he had some Kleenex.
     Jones applies for the janitorial position in the Night of Joy bar. Ms. Lee hires him on the spot once she hears the cops will be all over him unless he is game fully employed. She hires him but refuses to pay minimum wage.
     Patrolman Mancuso arrives at the Reilly home and speaks with Mrs. Reilly about the unfortunate situation she has been placed in. He explains that she owes the owner of the building $1,020. Obviously, she doesn’t have enough funds, so Mancuso suggests that Ignatius find employment. He would hear nothing of this idea and retreated once again to his lair until Mancuso leaves. Mrs. Reilly finally gets Ignatius to agree to find a job when she threatens to mortgage the house.
     Jones rides the bus to the police station and feels rightly angered at the apparent feelings of the old white woman next to him, fidgeting, fearing for her life just because Jones is sitting next to her. He thinks about Ignatius and reads a Life magazine in which we learn his fondness for advertisements.
     Ignatius travels to the movie tonight. He watches the film about circus performers with disgust, throwing his voice into the mix with abominable comments as well as the popping of an inflated popcorn bag. The other customers complain but Ignatius will not give in. The manager talks with him several times, but it is no use. Ignatius truly gets annoyed when the love scene is brought to fruition. Illuminating the audience to the health problems each of the actors and actresses must have within their mouths.
Character: Darlene is revealed to work at the bar to make people buy more drinks.
Mancuso is revealed to be a very caring, if not bumbling man with a good heart.
Ms. Lee’s truly nature and cold heart are exposed to the reader with how she treats Jones.
Myra Minkoff is first introduced. We later learn she is a college friend and Ignatius’ one true rival.
Setting: The Reilly’s home is located in a terrible neighbor that once, long ago, stood tall as a quaint and beautiful Victorian neighborhood. Since its downfall, however, ramshackle alterations and additions to various buildings leave it only to the imagination the grandeur such a neighborhood could ever have imposed upon a passerby.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.
.
Chapter Three:
Plot: Ignatius returns from one interview with an insurance agency in which his comments on their arcane choice of lighting and improper heating enraged his prospective employer. He is greeted by his mother who encourages him and brings out the paper. They take a look at an ad for a clerical position at Levy Pants, but at the same time Ignatius is angered by his need to awaken prior to noon.
     Mancuso learns of a place he could find some suspicious characters from none other than his one-time nemesis, Ignatius. He tells his Sergeant about the Night of Joy bar where there could be B-girls. His superior scoffs at him and tells other officers to check it out behind Mancuso’s back.
     Ignatius finds a job at Levy Pants as a filer. He is paid sixty dollars a week plus twenty cents a day for carfare.
     Returning to the Night of Joy, we view a scene between Jones and Ms. Lee in which she complains about his work and he retaliates. She threatens to call the cops and Jones informs her he could do the exact same. A “boy” stranger enters the bar with money for the patron saying the “orphans” like the gift she had given. She asked if they would like another and he said yes. She pulled out a package wrapped in brown paper and handed it to the messenger.
     Ignatius returns home to find his neighbor will be staying with her son for a while to calm her nerves. He is also informed that his mother is going bowling with Mancuso and his aunt. He reads a letter from Myrna, his former girlfriend explains how she has no sympathy for Ignatius and that eve since his failure in Baton Rouge he has become reclusive and given up. She explains how he has turned his back to both love and society and that he is not to write to her unless he either regains his connection to the world or wishes to play the part of a landlord quite similar to himself in a film she was producing.
Character: Mr. Gonzales is a hard-working manager who seems to be unappreciated for the work he has done for over twenty years at Levy Pants. He is always the first one to arrive each and every day, and is desperate enough to hire Ignatius without even asking his name.
     Miss Trixie is old, very old indeed. She has been with the company for over fifty years and shows signs of senility, often found with anything that has been lost within the company. The only reason she is still on the staff is because of Mrs. Levy’s wishes to keep the elderly woman active.
Setting: Levy Pants is one of the few places within the working world in which Ignatius has found a suitable and habitual place to work. It is warm from a gas heater with a feeling of old taste that is greatly adored by our protagonist.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.

Chapter Four:
Plot: Ignatius spent the bulk of his morning creating a sign in an effort to revitalize the dying business of which he is currently employed. When asked about his clerical duties, Ignatius informed his supervisor about a rat in the cabinets. A scene ensues with the culmination of Mr. Levy seeing all three employees on the floor and asking about his vacation plans. Ignatius then writes a very angry and inappropriate letter to one of their vendors in which the consequences can only be apocalyptic for the company.
     The Night of Joy bar played host to another conversation between queen and custodial engineer. Police had begun showing up in the bar late at night and Ms. Lee thought it was her dear, dear Jones who had tipped them off, but as we know it was Ignatius.
     A phone call between Mrs. Reilly and Mancuso’s aunt reveals that the police actually arrested Mancuso the previous week and that a gentleman may be a-calling on Mrs. Reilly’s door.
     We are treated to the happily married Levy family. As dysfunctional as the officers employed but Mr. Levy, they cannot stop bickering about even the smallest of things. Mr. Levy is surprised that no one has died yet back at the factory due to the characters that he has employed. All the while Mrs. Levy cannot stop thinking about dear old Ms. Trixie.
     Ignatius begins writing a new series in which he becomes a normal workingman. He takes on the persona of Darryl and begins his social commentary in a first person account of his day as well as complaints he has over the company his mother has been keeping. When his mother and the Mancusos return from the alley, he runs outside to tamper with the Mancusos’ car and silently watches the interactions within his house and learns of the general dismissal of himself by not only the aunt but his own mother as well. Mancuso is found to fear the police a great deal.
Character: Mr. Levy has completely given up on his father’s business and feels the need to move to Miami and sell his last link to his father.
     Mrs. Levy has given up on her husband as much as he has given up on his company. She seems nice enough, caring for the well being of their workers as well as her want to help Miss Trixie. She blames her husband for their daughters’ behavior, carrying literally piles of rubbers even when returning home from college.
Setting: The Levy home has any and all physical pleasures accounted for. The furniture is soft and comfortable. The home is host to year round air-conditioning as well as heating, creating as the author described a “womb-like” atmosphere, as comfortable a place could not be found outside of St. Peter’s gates.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.

Chapter Five:
Plot: Darlene was lied to by Lana Lee about Jones’ position. A conversation ensued about the plausibility about adding Darlene and her bird to the show. The police were still appearing in the Night of Joy bar and that was beginning to truly scare Ms. Lee. The “orphan” returned but Ms. Lee took him outside to tell him not to come back until 12:45 while Jones was away at lunch.
     Ms. Trixie came to work in her nightgown and Mr. Gonzales sent her home to change. Ignatius finished the cross he had been working on as well as shared a luncheon meat sandwich with Ms. Trixie.
     It is revealed that Mancuso was the man attacked by the three women and the sergeant placed Mancuso on bus station bathroom duty.
     Ignatius tours the factory, and we learn about it through the diary he writes every once in a while. His comments on the factory were completely absurd to anyone who lives in reality, especially his comments on his black coworkers.
     Dr. Talc searches his office for notes on a lecture he must give the next day when he finds a paper Ignatius wrote, and made his former teacher wonder what ever happened to his student.
Character: Dr. Talc is a professor who knows absolutely nothing about the subjects he teaches, as Ignatius was able to determine long ago.
Setting: A disorganized office in which Dr. Talc “worked”.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.

Chapter Six:
Plot: Jones sits on a bar stool at Mattie’s and tells the barkeep about the hard life he has to live with the terrible boss. Eventually the man sitting next to him chimes in and says how a big fat white man in his company, Levy Pants, says that he’s going to hold a demonstration. They discover that the man is Ignatius and Jones warns the other man about the police wanting a word with Ignatius.
     Ignatius arrived to work early for once. He proceeded to incite a riot within the workers of the factory, using his yellow stained bed sheet as a banner and sticks, stones, and bicycle chains as weapons. Ignatius had planned a majestic parade of force to show Gonzales the error of his ways and to right the wrongs of centuries of black mistreatment. Unfortunately when he gave the order to attack, the workers started to demolish all of Ignatius’ work around the office including his signs and bean plants. The demonstration ended with the workers returning to the factory in disappointment.
     Mancuso realized he was locked inside his stall at the bus station and called for assistance.
     We learn of Ignatius’s fate: pink slip. His mother was angry and decided right then and there that he was going to go get himself another job, so sympathy. For once, it seemed she wasn’t going to spoil him any longer.
     Mrs. Levy is angered when her husband tells her that he has fired Ignatius. She threatens to write their daughters about this latest abomination unless he brings her Miss Trixie, and she eventually gets her way.
Character: The Levy daughters seem to be activists of some kind at their respective colleges, often writing their mother of their latest crusades. Mrs. Levy feels that her daughters are exactly the same as she was before her horrid husband came into her life.
Setting: Mattie’s is an old bar/grocery store that uses advertisements instead of paint outside and seems to be in the middle of nowhere.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.

Chapter Seven:
Plot: Ignatius stops into Paradise Vendors for a few hotdogs, and when the old man learns that he has no money, attacks Ignatius with a hotdog fork until he agrees to take a cart out for an hour. Ignatius eats another eight hotdogs and bumps into George, Ms. Lee’s “orphan” and creates a scene. Ignatius returns to the vendor with a story about being robbed of the missing hotdogs. He eventually takes a position as a permanent hotdog vendor.
     Back at the Night of Joy, Lana has the idea that since the police are all gone, Darlene should go back to the stool, but that’s not what Darlene wants. Darlene explains that her bird can be trained to pull on rings she will sew onto her clothing that will release the clothing and make her nude. After a long argument in which Jones joins in, Lana agrees. We also learn of the several props which Ms. Lee has been collecting for George, including chalk, and a globe.
     Mrs. Reilly calls Santa on the phone to vent her frustration about Ignatius’ new job. We also learn from Santa that Mancuso has fallen ill due to his long times in the bathroom in search of suspicious characters. Ignatius reads a letter from Minkoff, in which she tells him of a Klansman who tricks her as well as her nearing lecture. She also again pleads her case for him to have a sexual relationship with an actual woman (or man for that matter for she doesn’t know his preference). The chapter ends with a righteously angry Ignatius responding with an enraged tone to Minkoff.
Character: Mr. Clyde is the old man who gave Ignatius the vendor position. An old man, he seems beaten down by life, complaining about several things.
     A new low for Ignatius, he actually steals a total of twelve hotdogs from poor Mr. Clyde and makes up a story about an alcoholic mother and a robbery.
     Santa is Mancuso’s aunt. She has opened Mrs. Reilly’s eyes to the terrible behavior of Ignatius as well as her own lack of self-respect. Although in this chapter she seems a little too fond of corporal punishment in the up bringing of children…
Setting: Paradise Vendors, Incorporated is little more than an abandoned building with a large hotdog pot and a few broken down vending carts. The smells of hotdogs, mustard and various car lubricants (the building was once an automotive repair shop) intoxicate the passerby, but to Ignatius, these smells seem to bring forth feelings of ecstasy.
Structure: Five sections with different settings.     

Chapter Eight:
Plot: Miss Trixie has arrived at the Levy’s home. Mrs. Levy is trying to psychoanalyze her, but all Miss Trixie wants to do is be left alone. We learn that Mrs. Levy failed her psychology correspondence course so terribly bad that they had tried to withhold even an “F” from the woman. Miss Trixie tries to leave on several occasions but the Levy matriarch will not allow her to leave.
     Mancuso finally found a suspicious character in the restroom, George! The “orphan” was writing something on his hand in the bathroom; when Mancuso cornered him, George stole the book Mancuso was reading and subdued him, a lot. Combining the head injury with his nauseating pneumonia, Mancuso was unable to follow the youth.
     Mrs. Reilly went to a party hosted by Santa. Santa had also invited Mancuso and the old man whom she had said had taken a liking to Mrs. Reilly at the bowling alley. As it turned out, the old man was actually Claude Robichaux. When he saw Mancuso a screaming Claude assailed the tired and sick Mancuso until Santa brought peace to all. All the while Mrs. Reilly drank heavily.
Character: No new characters
Setting: Santa’s house was half of a duplex with extra thick walls. On her mantle was a picture of her dearly departed mother which has a large amount of grease on it fro all of the kisses it has received from Santa.
Structure: Three sections with different settings.
Point of view: Third person


Chapter Nine:
Plot: Ignatius is scolded by Mr. Clyde because he has gotten himself in trouble with the Board of Health due to his trying to place a cat in the bun compartment to take it home as a pet. He is one step away from being fired and is given a new route – the Quarter. He reads a letter sent by Minkoff and as usual, becomes enraged. He storms off to watch Yogi Bear on TV.
     Back in the Night of Joy bar, Darlene and Lana get in a fight over her act. It is eventually changed into a virgin southern belle having her clothes torn off by her bird. After Lana figures out that Darlene can’t remember any lines, the two go outside to “talk”. Seizing the opportunity for a drink of water, Jones goes behind the bar. There he finds all the packages Lana gives to George, and writes the address of the Night of Joy on each one.
     The sergeant allows Mancuso to leave the bus station and patrol in the sunshine because he fears Mancuso would die otherwise.
     Another one of Ignatius’ diary entries. He explains how everyone in the French Quarter is perverse, ignorant and most importantly, out to get him, just like the rest of the world. He is also ignorant of the basis of his weight gain (constantly eating hotdogs).
     Dr. Talc tries to seduce one of his students who shows up to ask about a paper handed in two months earlier. He cannot find the paper, but she takes a piece of paper written by Ignatius.
Character: No new significant characters.
Setting: No new settings
Structure: Five sections with different settings

Chapter Ten:
Plot: We learn of Mr. Levy’s several friends in the sports industry and how he only returns home during the off-seasons. Miss Trixie was given a makeover, against her will, to look exactly like Mrs. Levy’s mother. Mrs. Levy was appalled when she heard that Gus had tried to sell Levy Pants.
     Jones returns to Mattie’s and discusses his situation with Watson, the barkeep. Watson warns him not to get into trouble, but Jones is determined to sabotage the Night of Joy, if it’s the last thing he does, as long as it doesn’t land him in jail.
      Ignatius criticizes the artwork of the Ladies guild, and bumps into Dorian, the man who had bought his mother’s hat. He decided to form a political party made up completely of gays (as well as Ignatius himself) to get back at Minkoff.
     George’s paranoia increases when he sees Mancuso a second time outside the cathedral. He decides that he needs to find a better place to put the packages, and decides on Ignatius’ bun compartment. After all, no one eats the hotdogs but Ignatius, and no one would believe that lunatic even if he did discover the packages.
Character: Dorian is your stereotypical gay male. He is eccentric, happy, laughing, and full of things to say to Ignatius that fully disturb the giant. He believes New Orleans to be the greatest place in the world and tries to keep Mardi Gras all year round. He loves Mancuso and explains everyone knows he is a policeman even though he is always in costume.
     George is the “orphan” who traffics packages for Lana lee and enjoys drawing on his hands in his spare time.
Setting: No new settings
Structure: Four sections with different settings

Chapter Eleven:
Plot: The elderly trio decided to take a walk down to see a picture show. On the way they passed a funeral parlor in which a wake was going on for the late old lady Lopez whom had died of heart problems. It was revealed during one of their conversations that Claude was rolling in the dough, so to speak, from both wise investments and an excellent pension from 45 years of service to the railroad. The blossoming relationship between Irene and Claude culminated in both a holding of hands and a resting of Irene’s head upon Claude’s shoulder.
     A diary entry in which Ignatius outlines his plans of gay takeover as well as complains about his position as a weenie vendor.
     A return to Levy pants brings to light Ignatius’ letter to Ableman and forces Mr. Levy to actually do something with the company because of a $500,000 suit be filed by Ableman. Mrs. Levy also finally gives up on her “idealist” once she realizes that Ignatius could, and still might for that matter, ruin her comfortable life. She decides that she will start a foundation in honor of the late Mr. Levy.
     George helps right Ignatius’ overturned hotdog cart and they start a deal. The packages guarded so closely by both Lana and George are finally revealed to contain pornographic materials. After watching a movie Ignatius travels to the Night of Joy to search out the learned woman whom he believes is being mistreated by Lana, there he falls into Jones trap.
Character: No new significant characters
Setting: No new settings
Structure: Four sections with different settings.

Chapter Twelve:
Plot: This chapter begins with Ignatius receiving a rushed letter from Minkoff with her calling him insane. Ignatius then goes to his gay political rally. Once there he meets with Dorian and the real fun begins. They see Timothy locked up in the “slave room”. They also meet the three “women auxiliary force” of Frieda, Liz, and Betty. When Ignatius tries to speak he is ignored and booed out of the party, forcefully. Ignatius then travels to the Night of Joy where Jones rushes him in promising Ms. O’Hara. Ignatius is then assaulted by Darlene’s bird and rushed outside where he is almost killed by a bus. Jones saves his life. Mancuso finally catches Lana Lee for solicitation and ownership of pornography.
Character: Frieda, Liz, and Betty are lesbians from California, where they assaulted body builders and were forced to flee the state.
Setting: Dorian’s home is a modern place. Bright colors and strange scenes jump out at any passer-by.
Structure: One section

Chapter Thirteen:
Plot: Ignatius awakes in the hospital. His mother is ashamed of her son, screaming that he has ruined her. The paper wrote a story about the previous night. She had called Mancuso and asked him to follow Ignatius. They owed the hospital twenty dollars, so she had called Claude.
Clyde fired Ignatius.
Talc discovers what happened to Ignatius and decides to deny the letter Ignatius wrote years ago, instead of producing him.
Mancuso had pictures taken with the newspaper story and his sergeant, who hinted a promotion, may be in Mancuso’s future.
Santa showed her mother’s picture the newspaper and told her to be proud of her grandson and feel bad for Irene.
Claude reflected on Ignatius and decided something must be done.
George gets caught by the police in front of his mother.
The three lesbians attack Lana in their prison cell.
Dorian put up an advertisement for the room thee girls had vacated and felt bad for Mrs. Reilly.
Darlene got a phone call about a new job on Bourbon Street.
Jones returns to Mattie’s and tells Watson of the previous night’s adventures, He also tells how his status has changed so the precinct won’t arrest him for vagrancy, but he is still unemployed.
Mr. Levy finally finds Ignatius as he reads the paper. They drive out to New Orleans and Mrs. Levy stays with Miss Trixie while Mr. Levy continues onward towards Constantinople Street. There he learns that Ignatius started to go bad when his dog Rex died. He goes into the house with the arrival if the Reillys and learns of Ignatius’ home life. There the plot against Miss Trixie begins. Ignatius says she wrote the letter and Mr. Levy believes it. When Mrs. Levy hears this she turns on Miss Trixie. Mr. Levy finally has the upper hand on Mrs. Levy.
Character: no new significant characters
Setting: Miss Trixie’s home is covered in a thick layer of newspaper. Small and untidy, she lives in what seems to be a small garbage heap…
Structure: 12 sections with different settings.

Chapter Fourteen:
Plot: The ending of this novel was no less surprising than our first introduction to Ignatius, After everyone else had given up on Ignatius, his mother calling forth Charity Hospital’s psychiatric ward, Myra, the bane of his existence becomes his savior, whisking him away in her small automobile towards New York.
Character: no new significant characters
Setting: no new settings
Structure: One section

Overall

Point of view: Third person. Our first change is a first person narration during diary entries and letters.
Diction: Ignatius’ words are of the highest caliber compared to the simplistic speech of his common man. Also several characters display varying accents, from classic southern drawl to an accent resembling that of Italian Jersey.
Tone & Mood: Informal and pessimistic
Allusion: Ignatius mentions the Grail to the hotdog vendor at Paradise. The Grail he refers to is the Holy Grail, the object in which the fabled King Arthur of Camelot was bestowed the task of finding that eventually destroyed the noble figure.
Allusion: Fortuna, the medieval goddess of fortune
Allegorical meaning: none that I know of
Figurative language: Ignatius uses excessive similes and metaphors
Imagery: The author uses imagery mostly in introducing significant parts of either a character or setting, but not in dialogue.
Symbolism: The cash register and bar are referred to as an alter, symbolizing Americans’ worship of the almighty dollar. Jones was excommunicated from the “faith” due to his parentage simply because he was black.
     New York symbolizes a utopia of bohemian thought and exploration.
Theme: Small events can have great repercussions.

Thesis: The main idea behind Toole’s masterpiece is how even the smallest events can have the greatest repercussions.
The first piece of evidence comes out in the second to last chapter when Mr. Levy has a discussion with the Reilly’s neighbor: “Lemme tell you something. I gotta be fair. That Idnatius was okay until that big dog oh his died,” (pg 360).
Ignatius first turned from the church and began his love of the medieval church when he spoke with a priest about having a funeral for his dog: “The priest says no, of course, and I think that’s when Idnatius left the church,” (pr. 360). Ignatius’ funeral for Rex also seems to have triggered Mrs. Reilly’s drinking habit.
His dedication to medieval studies led him to meet Minkoff ion college: “This was the sort of girl who should be attending college, not ones like the dreadful Minkoff girl, that brutal and slovenly girl who had almost been raped by one of the janitors just outside of his office,” (pg 233).
Meeting Minkoff awaked a something in Ignatius which led his former teacher to describe the pair as: “They were like twos Huns sweeping down on Rome,” (pr 233).
Mancuso’s attention towards Ignatius in the first chapter led Mrs. Reilly to drink in the Night of Joy: “ ‘You know, sweetheart,’ Mrs. Reilly said to the young man (as we later find out is Dorian), ‘me and my boy was in trouble today. The police try to arress him,’” (pg 19). Her drinking led to the smashing of a wall with her Plymouth.
The smashed wall led to Ignatius being forced to find work: “ ‘There, there, I shall find some employment, although it will not necessarily be what you call a good job,” (pg 52).
Ignatius’ search for employment leads to a job at Levy Pants. Ignatius tried to improve Levy Pants’ image with a certain vendor with the power of the written word: “Levy Pants must become more militant and authoritarian in order to survive in the jungle of modern commercialism. Ignatius began to type the first step:” (pg 88)
A letter from Minkoff leads Ignatius to try to overthrow the company: “Tomorrow I will describe in detail my answer to the Myrna Minkoffs of the world,” (pg 127) His answer, of course, was to rally the factory workers into a bloodthirsty frenzy, which, inadvertently, failed.
Obviously, Ignatius is fired for his actions, which again leads him to find employment again. This time he becomes a hotdog vendor. As a vendor he makes the acquaintance of George. George has a plan to hide pornography in Ignatius’ cart, but when Ignatius inspects the packages, and learns what lies within, Ignatius becomes obsessed: “It could be that she was in the same situation as the Working Boy, a seer and philosopher cast into a hostile century by forces beyond her control. Ignatius must meet her. She might have some new and valuable insights,” (pg 289).
His obsession with the photograph of Lana leads him back to the night of Joy where his actions damn those who deserve it and improves the lives of those who were hardworking and respectful. Mancuso arrests Lana (and the police get George) which allows him to keep his job. Dr. Talc discovers his one out is a lost cause, leaving him at the mercy of the university board. Darlene’s hard work pays off as she finally gets the job she has always wanted in another bar. Jones gets on the police’s good side as well as receives the first award from the Leon Levy Foundation. Mr. Levy is saved from the lawsuit because the newspaper story about Ignatius’ actions leads him to the giant. Ignatius tells him that Miss Trixie wrote the letter [“Anyway, Reilly was worth saving. He led me to the real culprit,” (pg. 376)], which then allows her to finally retire. The experience with Ignatius gives Mr. Levy the confidence and power he needed to finally get rid of his wife and take control of his life.
And finally, the newspaper article was the final straw. Mrs. Reilly gave up on her child and called Charity Hospital to take him away, but Ignatius is saved. All the letters he had written to Minkoff had convinced her he truly needed help, so she came only moments before the hospital arrived and whisked him away to New York.
A small and natural event shaped the entire life of Ignatius, and through him, several others. Rex, his childhood dog, is responsible for every significant event in this novel. His one action of death forced a genius to lose faith in humanity, and thus change what he perceived to be, A Confederacy of Dunces.
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