A Confederacy Of Dunces Essay

2222 words - 9 pages

 "Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel. Do not crush me beneath your spokes. Raise me on high, divinity" (Toole: 42). Here, Ignatius Reilly makes one of his many pleas to Fortuna, the goddess which he believes controls his destiny and his life by spinning him in circles of good and bad luck. The cycles Ignatius Reilly goes through in John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces play an important role in the story, as they affect not only him, but several others in the book as well. The cycles that Ignatius is put through do, indeed, influence those around him. These cycles that Ignatius goes through are very much like gears, connected to the cycles of the other characters in the novel. Although it is not obvious at first, one can see that as Ignatius' cycle, or gear, is spun downwards by Fortuna, the cycles of those around him who, at first, experience bad luck, are eventually spun upwards. This can be seen by examining the effects of Ignatius Reilly's cycles on situations occurring in the Night of Joy, Levy Pants, and with his mother and her acquaintances.

The situation at the Night of Joy bar is, certainly, an interesting case to examine. At first, both Burma Jones and Darlene are experiencing bad luck, or a downward cycle. However, as Fortuna spins Ignatius Reilly downward, their situation begins to improve. We are introduced to Jones in the police station, early in the novel, after being arrested for, supposedly, stealing a bag of cashews. He exclaims, "I standin aroun in Woolsworth and some cat steal a bag of cashew nuts out the 'Nut House' star screaming like she been stab. Hey! The nex thing, a flo'walk grabbin me, and then a po-lice mother draggin me off. A man ain got a chance. Whoa!" (Toole: 26). He was then forced to take up a job at the Night of Joy as a porter, where he would be taken advantage of, because the police told him, "I better get my ass gainfully employ...they gonna star that vagran no visible means of support stuff on me" (Toole: 43). Lana Lee only paid him twenty dollars a week and threatened to call the police if Jones gave her problems or tried to quit. Things looked bleak for Jones until Fortuna spun Ignatius downwards and he came upon the Night of Joy, once again, because of the route for Paradise Vendors that he had to take. Jones was able to spin Ignatius' cycle downwards even further as he convinced Ignatius to come see Darlene's performance. The fiasco that followed had the Night of Joy shut down and the tyrannical Lana Lee arrested, thus, spinning Jones' cycle upwards. As Jones led the police to Lana Lee's pornographic material, he gained their favor over their previous contempt. Jones explained, "that Patrolman Mancusa say he appreciate showin him that cabinet. He say, 'Us mothers on the force need peoples like you, help us out.' He say, Peoples like you be helpin me get ahead.' I say, 'Whoa! Be sure and tell that to your frien at the precinc, they don star snatchin my ass for...

Find Another Essay On A Confederacy of Dunces

Dunciad: Mock epic and parallels to Rape of the Lock (another satire)

667 words - 3 pages tell of the hold Dullness has on the minds of writers in England and speaks of the dunces who don’t want to be dunces but are anyway, “Whate’er of mungril no one class admits/ a wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits” [line 89, A.P.] which elude to how he views his opposers and those who financially support them for trophy purposes.      In both works, his use of the epic form is almost too much but in each of them, it

The Happiness of Ignatus Essay

1186 words - 5 pages being a widely divers nation had taken a turning point on judgment this time towards Hispanic, blacks and even women. In no way have we grown much than what we believe. We still believe in social class in the fact that the one with money deserves better care, rather it should be an equal plan, were all hum are we not? Then why treat each other as animals. The confederacy of dunces is a great book yet I felt utterly unpleased when reading it for

Explain how diplomacy and naval forces became the lesser known keys to victory for both the Confederacy and the Union, why was the north able to succeed in both?

548 words - 2 pages Union blockade never thoroughly sealed the Confederate coastline, it was successful in causing Southern imports and exports to drop drastically at a time when the Confederacy needed to fund its huge war efforts. Southerners saw cotton as the great leverage in this effort, and at the time this made sense. This concept of King Cotton led many Southerners to believe that England and France would have to intervene in the Civil War in order to save

The Union's Ability to Conduct Total Warfare and Confederate Defeat

1267 words - 5 pages The Union's Ability to Conduct Total Warfare and Confederate Defeat The American War for Independence was a successful struggle of a smaller nation fighting a larger, more powerful force. However, in the case of the American Civil War, the larger more powerful Union defeated the southern Confederacy. The Union won the Civil War because the Confederacy could not sustain a war of attrition in the Napoleonic style that evolved into Total War

Was Northern Victory in the Civil War Inevitable?

613 words - 2 pages of the trained mechanics, most of the shipping and mercantile firms, and the bulk of the banking and financial resources.      Even in farm production the northern states overshadowed the rural South, for most of the North’s population was still rooted in the soil. The Confederacy produced enough foodstuffs to meet minimal needs, but the disruption of transport caused shortages in many places. The North, meanwhile, produced a surplus of wheat

Population, Industry, and Generals – How the Confederacy Survived to 1865

2560 words - 10 pages casualties as all other wars in US history combined (McPherson and Bruce vi-vii). The Confederacy faced impossible odds, with almost all of the Union’s industry having been in the North even prior to the secession. The Confederate forces were about equal in size to those of the Union at the start, but a year or two into the war, the Confederates were against forces much, much more vast than their own. At the start of the war the Union was more

The American Civil War: Interpretations of Democracy

1598 words - 7 pages fighting, magnifying the hostility between the two regions both before and during wartime. The Confederacy insisted that, based on overwhelming sentiments, its secession was an inevitability that was within the bounds of constitutional law. The South justified this secession and subsequent violence by claiming that the federal government had become tyrannical and was infringing on state rights. In the years leading up to the Civil War, a matter

Why the Confederacy Lost the War

1028 words - 4 pages protect them from the rich plantation owners, the taxes, and the inflation due to a new nation that was not able to survive when it had nothing to start with. Again, though, McPherson says that this could not be the reason either because the same was true during the Revolution, but the fight for independence in the 18th Century was a successful fight. So why couldn’t this fight be one? Freehling looks at the economical factors of the Confederacy

The popularity of the Lost Cause

1011 words - 5 pages sought to shift blame away from the Confederacy turning the South into a victim. The leaders of the Confederacy were turned into heroic figures that were fighting a noble fight for their people. Overall the Lost Cause myth prominence arose from a variety of factors, those include the need for a reasoning behind the loss of the war, activist groups, white supremacy and the Southern civil religion. One of the most important arguments one can make for

Tactics of Gettysburg

1496 words - 6 pages brigades and several more artillery squadrons stood behind them, near Lutheran Theological Seminary. The confederacy on the other hand had a line of foot soldiers as their vanguard, each brigade being closely distanced, unlike the union line behind the vanguard, which was separated. Behind the main line, artillery was positioned and a rearguard of foot soldiers was organized behind the artillery into 2 columns, each column being comprised of 4

The Iroquois

1849 words - 7 pages Iroquoian languages, they even spoke a clan language along with French and English (“Iroquois”). Many other Native American tribes also use the Iroquoian languages to speak and communicate. The Iroquois Confederacy customs are very different from all the other Native American tribes. They lived in long houses, made of slabs of

Similar Essays

A Confederacy Of Dunces Essay

984 words - 4 pages A Confederacy of Dunces was written in 1962 by John Kennedy Toole. Toole was born in 1937 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mary Vespa of Time magazine states ?Toole was a precious child. Skipping first and forth grades, he entered Tulane on a scholarship at 16. After graduating in 1958, he got his M.A. in English from Colombia the following year?(57). Toole began writing A Confederacy of Dunces in 1962 and finished in 1963. During these two

"A Confederacy Of Dunces" By John Kennedy Toole: Ignatius Reilly

1030 words - 4 pages In John Kennedy O'Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces", Ignatius Reilly feels a certain air of superiority over Myrna Minkoff even though she transforms his life through her advice. In three separate attempts to quiet her insistent criticism and suggestions, Ignatius listens to her advice, each time failing miserably and causing greater misfortune for himself. At the end of the novel, in comedic irony, she saves him from mental and physical

Ignatius And Myrna In Toole’s Confederacy Of Dunces

1841 words - 7 pages The Relationship between Ignatius and Myrna in A Confederacy of Dunces    One of the most unique and strange relationships in modern literature exists between Ignatius Reilly and Myrna Minkoff, the two perceived dunces in John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. The correspondence between them runs throughout the novel. In the beginning, Ignatius feels a certain air of superiority over her, yet she feels that he has lost

A Reflection Of The United States Of America

987 words - 4 pages The ascension of the United States of America as a global power reflects the actions behind keeping the world safe in its own way. Sometimes the measures to ensure the safety are viewed as illegal and unnecessary. In the many ways that the “victims” of the United States’ hegemony express resentment and hate, In John Kennedy Toole’s epic comedy, A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius J. Reilly’s personality reflects the dominance that the United