SS, "passed over"

The passage about the elongated S-shaped tunnels seemed to highlight the contrast between the scientific and softer, human aspects of the characters, especially Slothrop. On one hand the tunnels could be interpreted as a double integral sign-- the text goes on to explain this more in depth with lots of scientific jargon. "That is one meaning of the shape of the tunnels down here in the Mittelwerke. Another may be the ancient rune that stands for the yew tree, or Death" (306). The companion explains that "the rune SS signified a tree symbolizing strife" (190). Honestly, I didn't fully understand that one. My favorite interpretation, however, is the final one:

"Double integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep, which is where Slothrop wishes he were now...(because he still honestly misses her)..." (307). I found this sudden shift to be so poignant and, well, cute. Characters often seems so cold and calculating, and it's nice to be reminded that they are also (sometimes) quite human-- despite attempts to suppress this, as is the case with Slothrop on page 338:

"Slothrop feels his heart, out of control, inflate with love and rise quick as a balloon. It is taking him longer, the longer he's in the Zone, to remember to say 'aw quit being a sap.' What is this place doing to him?"

So yeah, I'm a sap.

On another note, I noticed several passages dealing with the Puritan concept of being "passed over" that Prof. Fitpatrick talked about in class. We discussed the idea of the elect and the preterite-- the saved and the damned, and the idea that by not having been chosen one may actually be set free. On page 333, Pynchon reveals Enzian's inner dialogue:

"What has happened to us? If choices have never been our own...then: have we been passed over, or have we been chosen for something even more terrible?"

Another passage on page 368 gives the concept a name:

" 'Mba-kayere.' It means 'I am passed over.'... It means that we have learned to stand outside our history and watch it, without feeling too much."

This (and the whole paragraph) introduced another interpretation of being "passed over"--the idea of being an indifferent outsider, having "a sense of the statistics of our being." I'm really interested in these Puritan undertones; I hadn't noticed them before the subject was brought up in class, but now I'm beginning to see what Prof. was talking about.