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Word Count: 1,305
There are two levels of apprehension to The Crying of Lot 49 that of the characters in the book whose perception is limited to the text and that of the reader who has the ability to look at the world from outside of it A recurring theme in the novel is the phenomenon of chaos also called entropy Both the reader and Oedipa have the same problems of facing the chaos around them Through various methods Pynchon imposes a fictional world of chaos on the world of the reader a world already full of confusions As readers we are faced with the same uncertainty and complication of the mystery that the characters are involved in As the mysteries unfold an understanding of the characters leads to the understanding of ourselves Oedipa Mass just like us is forced to either involve herself in the deciphering of clues or not to participate at all in what she suspects to be a conspiracy Her role is comparable to the role of Maxwells Demon As the Demon sat and sorted his molecules into hot and cold the system was said to lose entropy But somehow the loss was offset by the information the Demon gained about what molecules were where p105 Oedipas purpose in the novel besides executing a will is to find meaning in a life dominated by assaults on peoples perceptions through the use of drugs and the muting of communications Entangled in this chaos Oedipa has to do what the Maxwells Demon does sort useful facts from useless ones Pynchon involves his audience in that they also have to interpret countless symbols and metaphors to arrive at a meaning One of the most effective techniques that Pychon uses to involve the reader in his fictional world is his use of details His mixing of the specific history of Thurn and Taxis in his plot serves to overburden the reader with details that seems to have no
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