peace

everything is connected

I thought it was really interesting how DeLillo explicity connects Sister Edgar and J. Edgar Hoover as "Sister and Brother. A fantasy in cyberspace and a way of seeing the other side and a settling of differences that have less to do with gender than with difference itself, all argument, all conflict programmed out." Both characters exist in insular worlds without outside contact, yet cyberspace ultimately links them together albeit as only a "single fluctuating impulse now, a piece of coded information" (826). I'm not entirely sure as to what DeLillo means, but the ending seems very ambivalent, maybe intentionally so in order to mirror the increasing lack of a divide between what he calls cyberspace and the world.

Final Word

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So.... we've finished, and I've arrived at what I assume is a cliché question for this novel: Why is the last word "Peace" (827)?

Clearly, the novel has been deconstructing the Cold War, and the physical and psychological destruction it caused despite being "cold" (ex: the children with deformities, the nuclear waste, the fear and paranoia). So does the word represent Dellilo's plea? His wish?

Nick himself seems to have settled into some form of acceptance with himself and his life, but he says: "I long for the days of disorder. I want them back, the days when I was alive on the earth, rippling in the quick of my skin, heedless and real. I was dumb-muscled and angry and real. This is what I long for, the breach of peace, the days of disarray when I walked the real streets and did things slap-bang and felt angry and ready all the time, a danger to others and a distant mystery to myself" (810). Nick does not long for peace, but for the days of his irrational youthful anger and readiness for violence. Perhaps he is a victim of the Cold War era, then, and can never exist happily in a world of peace. He was a child of the Cold War, and his identity was constructed on that mentality.

Moments of Peace in War

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On page 172, just after Pointsmen has recieved oral sex from Maud, it says, "But no one saw them, then or ever, and in the winter ahead, here and there, her look will cross his and she'll begin to blush red as her knees, she'll come to his room off the loab once or twice perhaps, but somehow they're never to have this again, this sudden tropics in the held breath of war and English December, this moment of perfect peace." Typically oral sex is not seen as an act of emotional intimacy, but rather as an erotic sexual act. I think it's interesting that Pynchon has chosen this as the perfect moment of peace.

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