Mushy stuff


I've noticed Slothrop undergoing some interesting character changes as we've continued. (Note: I'm not referring to the reading for today, which I haven't yet begun. Go go speed reading!) When we first meet him, he doesn't really seem emotionally connected to anyone; though he definitely has his share of human interactions, they don't seem to mean anything to him.

That starts changing when he gets to the Riviera, specifically once people start leaving him. He pines after Katje, and his anger over Tantivy's death drives him out of France. He starts to realize this change when he says goodbye to Geli: "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 his brain?" (338) He sticks with Margherita, despite being frightened by her obvious batshit insanity, and gets immediately and deeply attached to Bianca.

The most interesting one for me, though, was his anger at Springer for abandoning Narrisch. He's ready to completely rip into Springer for it... but doesn't. Ultimately, in all of these cases, Slothrop doesn't really know what to do with these emotions. In the Zone, he's learning how to feel, but not how to process that information.

So, interesting question: what does all of this have to do with that first little bit of insanity we saw from Slothrop on the rescue mission? As he's starting to connect to other people, is he losing his connection with reality?