ASSIGNMENT: By Thursday 4/1 write a 750-1000 word essay on


ASSIGNMENT: By Thursday 4/1 write a 750-1000 word essay on A Confederacy of Dunces. You are encouraged to offer your own insights, but you might consider some of these thematic questions: Is the novel’s antihero, Ignatius J. Reilly, a sympathetic or unsympathetic figure – or a combination of the two? Is Ignatius’ mother a sympathetic or unsympathetic figure – or a combination of the two? How does the relationship between mother and son evolve during the course of the novel? What is Ignatius’ essential life dilemma as he sees it? What is the significance of Ignatius’ corpulence and his gargantuan appetite? What is the significance of Ignatius’ long-distance relationship with Myrna Minkoff? How do Ignatius’ intellectual leanings conflict with his place in the contemporary world? How does the author, John Kennedy Toole, use the ambience of New Orleans and its colloquial dialect to evoke the novel’s self-contained world? How does the novel use humor and satire to address the social concerns of the 1960s, particularly through the character of Burma Jones? What does Walker Percy mean when he writes in the Foreword that this comic novel “is also sad”? How does this text relate to current issues of interest to you and your generation?

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