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A Thermodynamic Reading of The Crying of Lot 49 Exploring thermodynamic entropy and information theory clarifies the ambiguous relationship between Oedipa Maas Maxwells Demon and the Tristero System in The Crying of Lot 49 Through a convoluted chaotic adventure leading to disorder Oedipa searches for the truth about Tristero hoping it will save her from her tower of imprisonment Pynchon 11 Pynchon dangles this elusive message over Oedipas head until she discovers Tristeros meaning However interference from thermodynamic entropy and the entropy of information theory prevent the message from being transmitted from the transmitter to the receiver Thermodynamics deals with the changes that occur in a system if energy distribution is unbalanced Thermodynamics can be regarded as governing the direction of all physical changes taking place in the universe With time the energy within a system will inevitably tend to become distributed in the most probable pattern which consists of all the individual particles of the system engaging in random disordered motion OED Thermodynamic entropy is the measure of this disorganization in the universe In a closed isolated system the total quantity of energy remains the same but irreversible transformations within this system cause a loss in the grade of the energy In The Crying of Lot 49 Oedipa Maas realizes her confinement is similar to the closed system in which entropy thrives Pynchon 11 If she does not open her system her energy will degrade until she is an embodiment of random disorder At some point she went into the bathroom tried to find her image in the mirror and couldnt She had a moment of nearly pure terror Pynchon 29 An image is created in a mirror when radiation falls upon an object of varying density causing light to scatter which composes the reflection If there were no differences in density and only random motion there would be no image to project Pynchon foreshadows Oedipas fate through the
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