A Confederacy of Dunces presents a vivid image of the city and lays out the alterations between romantic and vulgar indulgence. Toole illustrates Ignatius’s obsession with literature demonstrating how that condition sets him apart from the world marred with perilous challenges. Although armed with a master’s degree, his inadequacy to adopt the status quo cost him a decent job and highlights his character as a snob. He is involved in hilarious adventures of job seeking where he exposes his incapacity to be a responsible employee with a respectable work ethic.
Through Ignatius, Toole seeks to presents a character that represents the locale in the most sufficient manner. Ignatius is an image of an individual living a fiction, a lifestyle no one can be proud of and elicits sympathetic applause from the readers. This piece of writing seeks to present in details fate as one of the major themes in the novel, A Confederacy of Dunces. For instance, concrete illustrations will be portrayed on how Ignatius regards his fortunes as originating from the favours of a goddess rather than his behavior.
This will involve analysis of the settings, literary devices as well as the characters in the novel. Setting The setting of the novel reflects the cultural diversity that was prevalent in the 1960s. This diversity takes the form of race, religion, sexual orientation, and politics. For instance, the African Americans are represented in Jones, Mattie’s Ramble Inn, and the factory workers at Levy’s. Toole attempts to create an atmosphere of tolerance with his humour and caricatures. Toole picks up a discussion of minority culture and minority rights in relation to the contemporary times.
The minorities and majorities had different lives and concerns. For instance, the factory workers who were black denounced Ignatius’s plight to boycott their duty and as a result, Ignatius is fired from the factory (Toole 45). Although the blacks are vulnerable to injustice and ill treatment, they are not influenced or moved by Ignatius. He is with a master degree but cannot secure a sustaining job. However the vulnerable black workers maintain their jobs. It is unfortunate for Irene, a lower class mother to boast of such a son in such circumstances.
However, Ignatius believes that his position is voluntary and informs his mother he wishes to “be an observer. I am not especially anxious to mingle” (Toole 22). Consenting that Fortuna is the reason he fails, not one’s own incompetence is accepting fate. Literary devices Toole has employed a number of literary devices that bring out the theme of fate. For instance, he uses humour and caricatures to promote tolerance to the theme of fate. As well, he uses satire to ridicule prejudice and to change awareness, allowing every group its due place.
Ignatius has a representation in use of this style. This is evident from his statement that, “I have always felt something of a kinship with the coloured race, because its position is the same as mine: we both exist outside the inner realm of American society” (Toole 144). He resents the American dream and claims that although the society considers him a misfit, he still has a connection and ties with it. Toole as well presents Jones as a comic masterpiece who creates sympathetic identification for blacks. In the end, the woes of Jones wade and e secures a job with the Levy’s factory for his service in exposing Lana Lee (Toole 34).
He is thus free from random arrests by the police in the future. Toole’s mastery and presentation of the literal forms illustrate the theme of fate through the way he relays the language structure as well as the characters. For instance, fate is ingrained in the literal interpretation of the devices employed in literal works. Character The fate concept states that characters are powerless to control given circumstances of their lives, instead, they are guided by some natural trends.
For instance, Ignatius views his suffering and occasional better fortune as resulting not from any action that originates from his behavioural character but rather from the whim of a blind goddess named Fortuna. It is believed that, Fortuna decides whether to send Ignatius’s wheel of fortune downward or upward. Therefore, Ignatius describes his fate life as “When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life (Toole 73). ” As much as Ignatius regards his failure to control his own fortune, He acts as an instrument of fate to some degree with regard to most of the traits in the novel.
For instance, his confrontation with the cockatoo leads to Patrolman finally receiving respect and promotion because of hard work. Similarly, it is because of his lie about who wrote the letter to Abelman that enables Miss Trixie to get her retirement and as well Mr. Levy to get advantage over his cruel wife. From the same stance, Ignatius is solely responsible for bringing about the inevitable downfall of the morally corrupt. Even from Toole’s consciousness, it is clear that if fate is random, it has little to do with justice.
Conclusion The novel is a clear cut illustration of the ills that surrounded individual’s lifestyles in 1960s. The author has made explicit demonstration about the individuals in a literally but a hilarious manner owing to the way he has portrayed Ignatius. As the main character, Ignatius has facilitated the development of the theme of fate in the novel. For instance, Ignatius is central to all the presentation of this theme in that, he lacks the basics of work ethic as evident from his move to mobilize the black factory workers to revolt, he writes insulting letters to customers and eats most of the hot dogs he is required to sell.
As well he deems all the adventures he encounters as fate and that he is not responsible for their occurrence. This has been clearly articulated, presented and supported in the essay. Literary analysis has been conducted before on the confederacy of dunces and interpretation offered. The claim that the novel only revolves around Ignatius should be expounded. Ignatius is a central character through whom all other characters are developed as well as the themes. He is an embodiment of modern day lack of civilization and represents a majority of the citizens. The impoverished context in which the novel is set should draw attention.
Poverty just like the other themes should be focused on as a main theme. Ignatius and the other characters such as Gus, Jones and Darlene are all using despicable means to wade their way through the rigours of poverty in the city. Fate is a central theme that connects with others that shed light on the contextual events that Toole sought to inform. However, they all portray an innate sense of poverty as an underlying cause. Further analysis should be made on the topic in the future. Work Cited Toole Kennedy: The story of a confederacy of dunces. Pelican Publishing, 2005.