The Crying of Lot 49 | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of The Crying of Lot 49.
This section contains 1,745 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Thomas Hill Schaub

The experiences of the main character—Oedipa Maas—and the reader are too much alike for the main point of [The Crying of Lot 49] to be other than precisely the terrible ambiguity with which it leaves us. (p. 93)

[In this book] Pynchon is exploiting the diametrically opposite meanings which "entropy" has in thermodynamics and in information theory. Metaphorically, one compensates the other. Here is the narrator describing the Nefastis Machine, an invention whose structure lies at the heart of the novel's semantic structure: "the system was said to lose entropy. But somehow the loss was offset by the information gained about what molecules were where" (… italics mine). Why "But"?

A loss in thermodynamic entropy is not a "loss" from a human standpoint. The importance of Maxwell's Demon is that the information it gains allows it to separate the fast from the slow molecules, thus countering entropy. The modern...

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This section contains 1,745 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Thomas Hill Schaub
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Gale
Critical Essay by Thomas Hill Schaub from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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