Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis examines the entropy paradigm in the works of Thomas pynchon and explores the manner in which Pynchon's protagonists attempt to reverse or delete entropy from their exhausted and deteriorating worlds. It will be suggested that there are two separate ways to accomplish this task. The first method is the use of human intellect and energy to restore order to the universe. In Pynchon's fiction this method is symbolized by James Clerk Maxwell's Demon, a hypothetical intelligence who counters entropy in closed systems. The second way is the presence of human creativity and inspiration that resists the natural tendency of social systems to verge towards the mean and the resultant mediocrity and homogeneity. This method is represented in Pynchon' s texts by Robert Graves' White Goddess, a conjectural figure in European prehistory who inspires poetry. Moreover, the first method will be shown to be a primarily patriarchal phenomenon, while the second method is inherently matriarchal in nature. pynchon unites both patriarchal and matriarchal manners in his overarching metaphor of the family.
Quigley, James Stevenson, "The Demon and the Goddess: Entropy and the Family in the Works of Thomas pynchon" (1997). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6042.
McMaster University Library