Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, Vol 21, No 1 (2013)

Urban Sprawl and Existentialism in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49

Tracy J. Prince
Issued Date: 21 Jul 2014


The Crying of Lot 49 is Thomas Pynchon’s profound commentary on existentialism and on America’s increasingly generic, brutal, and isolating urban landscape. Pynchon weighs both topics as he depicts the existential angst of a commodified, market-driven life filled with marketing jingles, unplanned sprawl as far as the eye can see, soulless subdivisions, endless freeways, and the resulting breakdown of community where people feel disconnected and alone and their lives seem empty and meaningless.

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DOI: 10.1558/eph.v21i1.81


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