Gravity's Rainbow Essay

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Trudell is a doctoral student of English literature at Rutgers University. In the following essay, Trudell argues that sexuality and illicit sexual affairs are key topics by which Pynchon develops his critique of postwar culture in Gravity's Rainbow.

A common motif in the diverse and complex array of events in Gravity's Rainbow is the affair, or the brief sexual relationship, that is usually extramarital or illicit in some way. Characters are constantly having sex, running off together, cheating on their partners, and becoming carried away by their forbidden fantasies. Frequently, they engage in violent, sadomasochistic acts that include rape and pedophilia—acts that led the Pulitzer Prize advisory board to deem the novel obscene. Affairs often involve spying on the part of one or even both parties, and lovers have a tendency to leave or betray each other based on their roles in one of the novel's many...

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This section contains 1,717 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gravity's Rainbow Study Guide
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