Entropy Characters
by Thomas Pynchon

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Entropy Characters

The main characters of “Entropy” are the tenants of two Washington, DC apartments. On the third floor lives Meatball Mulligan; upstairs from him live Callisto and Aubade. The other characters are Meatball’s friends and guests at the party he is throwing.

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Meatball is presented primarily in relationship to these friends and guests. The author does not describe his appearance. Meatball is asleep amidst the party’s chaos when the story opens, then awakens and converses with numerous individuals, especially his friend Saul.

Sandor Rojas, who is Hungarian, is described as a “freedom fighter” and an ardent pursuer of women. For this Don Giovanni (operatic ladies’ man), even a woman’s voice can make him salivate with desire.

Saul, a “shaggy woebegone figure,” enters through the window. During a large part of the story, he talks with Meatball in the kitchen about his breakup: his wife, Miriam, has left him. He is dejected, like a “big rag doll,” but acknowledges his responsibility for the breakup due to his physical violence, saying “I slugged her.” He and Miriam were arguing about communications theory and its applicability to science and its frequently erroneous presentation in science fiction. The two friends discuss language barriers and theories of love.

Other party guests mentioned several times include Duke, Vincent, Krinkles, and Paco, who are the members of the Duke di Angelis quartet. The female guests are described as “government girls” working for the State Department or other agencies, three “coed” philosophy majors from George Washington University, and an unnamed “girl” who was sleeping in the bathroom sink.

Callisto, fifty-four years old, is writing his memoirs, in which he refers to himself in the third person, by dictating them to Audabe....

(The entire section is 435 words.)