Confederate General from Big Sur Summary
Richard Brautigan

Everything you need to understand or teach Confederate General from Big Sur by Richard Brautigan.

  • Confederate General from Big Sur Summary & Study Guide

Confederate General from Big Sur Summary

Brautigan believes that each self should ideally be judged outside of history, and he recognizes that people, like Lee Mellon with his dreams of the Confederacy, can be inappropriate to their historical situation. Confederate General from Big Sur explores the possibility of transcending history, but the novel shows that even if one can transcend history, one cannot escape moral ambiguity. This version of the American theme of freedom derives from eastern thought with its emphasis on inevitability. At the end of the novel, as the characters search for Johnston Wade's pomegranate, the narrator sighs, "There was nothing else to do, for after all this was the destiny of our lives. A long time ago this was our future, looking for a lost pomegranate at Big Sur."

The book, therefore, is also absurdist. The narrator reads and rereads Ecclesiastes until he is only reading the punctuation. In Ecclesiastes there...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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Confederate General from Big Sur Short Guide

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