This little piggie went to the market....

A continuation to Kodiak Sasha's post:

There's an important bit about the pigs on page 564-5 that I'm not really exactly sure what to make of in light of Slothrop taking up the pig suit.

Man in the Western World abides by the rules of the system, but in the colonies where he is free from the system, he may follow his natural impulses alone. "Christian Europe was death" (322) in the same way that the text constantly reminds us that the system fueling the war and its aftermath depends on death. To lose sight of death and indulge life in the colonies is to free oneself from that system.

Children and Innocence


I've still got some reading to go, but I'm starting to notice a lot of focus on children in this section, and so I thought I'd jot down my thoughts on the darker side of innocense and youth.

It's interesting that the novel describes innocence as a valuable resource that a state can package/preserve/manufacture: "In a corporate State, a place must be made for innocence, and its many uses. In developing an official version of innocence, the culture of childhood has proven invaluable." (419 in my book).. then it goes on to describe "Zwolfkinder", the eerie resort that's run completely by children. And while this place is supposed to be the ideal fairyland, it clearly has a cryptic side (easily visible in the not-so-innocent children). Polker takes his daughter Ilse there, but she is clearly irreparably damaged by her stay in the Dora camp. And the boys she looks at in Zwolfkinder ignore her, because "They dreamed of their orders, of colossal explosions and death [...] someday I will have a herd of [women] for myself... but first I must find my captain... somewhere out in the War... first they must deliver me from this little place..." (429). These boys have already outgrown the make-believe world of childhood, and are preparing themselves for a life of violence and sex. It seems as if innocence is just a guise that children wear.

Questions, Yin-Yang and ..... a little humor

I have a burning and probably not immediately answerable question: Who is Dr. Lazlo Jamf?
Almost every thread of GR links back to him, yet I feel I don't really know him. We know a fair amount of details about him and his work, but I only feel that I've "heard of him" but not "met" him like I have with Pynchon's other characters.

With that out of the way, I particluarly liked the use of yin-Yang at the end of part 2 to illustrate the inexorable connection between Roger and Pointsman. The system of Yin and Yang is a binary one like Pointsman who may only exist at zero or one. However, regardless of their contrast to each other, they exist as a blended entity in nature. By that token, Roger, lying in the infinite domain from zero to one, provides the necessary link between Pointsman's binary universe and the far more complex real world of a war. In that same real world of a war where man's law and nature's law stand in open conflict, Roger faces the loss of Jessica, his salvation. Roger is among elect, the war has not passed him by costing him his salvation. "Lord Acton always sez, History is not woven by innocent hands" (281).

Syndicate content