Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Thomas Pynchon is critical of authority, whether it is parental or political. In his fiction, how successful are attempts to subvert authority?

Of the many characters in Pynchon’s fiction, which character or characters seem most like Pynchon in outlook and behavior?

What is the nature of the loss in Gravity’s Rainbow?

Discuss the nature of paranoia in Vineland and how it affects the plot.

Mason and Dixon contains, like most of Pynchon’s fiction, a quest. Identify the quest or quests and to what extent they are successful.

Most literary digressions are at least tangentially related to the main plot. Discuss the relevance of the digressions in Mason and Dixon.

What environmental concerns surface in Mason and Dixon?