The Crying of Lot 49 Themes

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In The Crying of Lot 49, Pynchon combines the themes of decay and conspiracy developed in V. with observations on communication theory. The main character, Oedipa Maas, has been given the job of administering the estate of her deceased lover, Pierce Inverarity, who in addition to being a real estate tycoon, was also a stamp collector. In the course of investigating Inverarity's holdings, Oedipa uncovers a conspiracy in opposition to the postal system which dates back to the sixteenth century. The conspiracy, called Tristero, manifests itself in certain small ways such as counterfeit stamps in which the designs of official stamps are subtly changed. Members of the conspiracy deposit messages in trashcans marked "Waste," which, Oedipa discovers, stands for "We Await Silent Tristero's Empire." In a night journey through San Francisco, Oedipa discovers frightening signs of the existence of Tristero everywhere. She also watches a performance of an Elizabethan play...

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This section contains 334 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Crying of Lot 49 Study Guide
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