It has been more than a month since I bunged Slothrop’s world of paranoia. Yet, the very mention of Gravity’s Rainbow sends an agonizing quiver through my spine. With a half-burnt Marlboro dangling in between my lips to preserve my sanity, I am geared up to shred Slothrop and the psychoanalytical puzzle of a disgruntled civilization.
Pynchon is a badass! He knows the poise of unbalancing the sanctuary of one’s mind. Just when you get composed with the narration, a bombshell laced with mystifying lexis splatters your brain cells into a neurotic mirage of bewilderment. Akin to an Archimedean Spiral this manuscript propels you into a hypnotic daze making you yearn for rehabilitation sessions with Freud. Pynchon in this fierce literary opus skillfully crafts a jagged brainteaser, dexterously moving through every character modulating strains of fright, convoluted psyches by means of sardonic humor; overwhelmed by the cosmic premeditated aggression of the World War II and tentative military technology. Analogous to an amoeboid action, the labyrinthine plot propels into a sinister reverie engulfing the most impenetrable enigma –Tyrone Slothrop into a mammoth annihilation of sanity and perseverance.
Is Slothrop a military covert operative? Is he an experimental specimen or a mythopoetic hero? To me, Slothrop is a frightening model of entropy. A quintessence of degradation trying to decipher the flippant conducts of war-conspiracies and inevitability of death, finally fading into a collective zilch. An American agent who is allegedly being monitored by the Allies in London during WWII ,Slothrop comes across as the “anti-hero” with his shady misdemeanors, sexual orgies and his ever so volatile penis which equates Slothrop’s copulations with frequent bombing targets (Pavlovian sexual conditioning). However, as the script unfolds amid the admission of numerous secondary characters, Slothrop metamorphoses into a justifiable representation of humanist dogma heaving with extreme paranoia and hallucinatory raptures. His European sojourn involving fatal information on the V-2 Rocket mechanism and sinister elucidations of the Government conspiracies delineates the fine line that sustains the parameters of life and mortality eventually decomposing in the calamity of rockets and bombs.
“All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we would have h the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilian? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology ,deify it if it will make you feel less responsible-but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are.”
Underneath the astrological parameters and laws of thermodynamics, Pynchon employs each building block of the universe to impart us the knowledge of irrevocability of death and its unethical exploitation through inhumane power-mongers.
Festooned with an astounding color palette, the rainbow is a nature’s charming bequest after a treacherous storm. Conversely, Pynchon in the course of Slothrop cautions us about the prevalence of a man-made scientific marvel – a mock arc (rocket) that looms on our tomblike unawareness and may unpredictably descend on to the earth patterning a “rainbow” of blood and gore of humanity. A baffling sarcasm, isn’t it?