Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Allegory is a figurative work in which a surface narrative carries a secondary, symbolic or metaphorical meaning. The objective of this lesson is understanding how both the setting and characters of The Crying of Lot 49 have allegorical significance.
1) As a class, discuss the definition of allegory and have the students think of other allegorical work they have read (such as Animal Farm).
2) Break into groups of three or four and write down the names of the main characters (Oedipa, Mucho Maas, Pierce Inverarity, etc). The students should brainstorm possible allegorical meanings for each name. Get back together as a class and compare answers and discuss what Pynchon intended the names to mean.
3) Allegories are often told in the context of a journey or quest, such as Dante's Inferno or The Faerie Queene. Oedipa is on a quest, as well. In a paragraph or two...
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