The Gravity's Rainbow Handbook: A Key to the Thomas Pynchon Novel by Robert Crayola

The Gravity's Rainbow Handbook: A Key to the Thomas Pynchon Novel by Robert Crayola

Author:Robert Crayola
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: study guide, postmodern, thomas pynchon, postmodernism, book notes, pynchon, study notes, against the day, mason dixon, the crying of lot 49

PART 2: Un Perm' au Casino Hermann Goering (pg. 179 - 278)

PART 2, SECTION 1 (pg. 181 - 189): Tyrone Slothrop is at a fictitious casino on the French Riviera. The casino is named after Hermann Goering, a high-ranking figure in the Nazi regime. Teddy Bloat and Tantivy Mucker-Maffick are also there with Tyrone, and they perform a song and dance routine. This is a common occurrence in Pynchon, and this is one of the more ridiculous episodes in Gravity's Rainbow.

Katje Borgesius is also on the beach. Grigori the octopus (from earlier at "The White Visitation") attempts to abduct her. Slothrop is able to save Katje. He can't help feeling that the whole thing was staged, but his attraction to Katje allows him to overlook this detail.

PART 2, SECTION 2 (pg. 189 - 205): Dr. Porkyevitch is with Grigori the octopus on a ship off the coast. Inside the casino, Slothrop has sex with Katje Borgesius. He is suspicious about Teddy Bloat and paranoid about his whole situation at the casino. When his clothes mysteriously disappear, his paranoia seems justified. He chases after the thief and ends up climbing a tree and then crashing to the ground in a routine straight out of a slapstick movie. Incorporating techniques of other fiction and films is a common Pynchon technique, often to the point of absurdity. Slothrop then finds a uniform to wear, but he is accused of being a Nazi. Without identification or a proper uniform, Slothrop's identity is slipping away.

PART 2, SECTION 3 (pg. 205 - 226): As Slothrop continues his sexual relationship with Katje, he can't help feeling he's been manipulated at some point in the past. He still feels like he's being controlled.

A man named Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck has arrived at the casino and he claims to speak 33 languages. He connects much of his talks with Slothrop to the larger, mythical history of language. Being with him is part of Slothrop's training. Slothrop absorbs vast amounts of data about the rockets being used in the war.

Despite his studies , Slothrop is largely sedentary. He is reading a Plastic Man comic book. Slothrop will take on aspects of this comic book character later, becoming part of his personal myth about himself. It will have more significance as he learns that Imipolex G is connected to his conditioning. Slothrop's "Plasticman" identity will later mutate into "Rocketman." The use of drugs will help bring these transformations about.

Slothrop also tries to play a complicated card game with Dodson-Truck in this episode.

There is a flashback to the death of Peter Sachsa in Berlin. His head was crushed by police during a communist demonstration.

This episode concludes after Slothrop awakes to find an unfinished cigarette. It is Katje's, and she has left for England. He finds it strange that she did not finish the cigarette.

PART 2, SECTION 4 (pg. 226 - 236): This episode returns to England, specifically "The White Visitation." Pynchon reminds us of the conditioning still taking place, highlighting the animals that have been put through their paces.


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