Analysis Of Thomas C. Foster

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The chapter begins with the author, Thomas C. Foster, describing a hypothetical situation about a sixteen year old boy that he calls “Kip”. Foster continues on, outlining Kip’s journey to the A&P; Kip suffers through various trials such as an encounter with a German shepherd and seeing his dream girl with his nemesis. When the girl, Karen, sees Kip, she repeatedly laughs while Kip buys a loaf of bread. He then decides to lie about his age and join the military, regardless of the consequences. After concluding the hypothetical situation, Foster declares that Kip’s entire trip to the store was a quest. Foster refutes any possible dissenters by introducing an analogy comparing different aspects of the Kip’s journey to a “real quest”; he…show more content…
Lastly, he lectures about the real reason of the quests rather than the stated reason; regardless of the initial reason, there is always an underlined reason, which Foster states as self-knowledge. This real reason explains why so many protagonists are young and inexperienced, for they have “a long way to go in the self-knowledge department” (Foster 3). Foster introduces an example of an unlikely quest: Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49. The quester in Crying of Lot 49 is a young woman that is stuck in an unhappy marriage and is easily dominated by the men in her life. The destination is Southern California, however she also journeys toward an uncertain future. Her stated reason to go to Southern California, far from her home in San Francisco, is that she has been made the executor of the will for her deceased lover. She goes through numerous trials which include meeting many eccentric and chilling people, taking nightlong voyages through San Francisco, talking psychotic therapists out of shooting rampages, and involving herself in a postal conspiracy. Lastly, Foster tells us the real reason the character, Oedipa Maas, is on a quest. Oedipa is named after a character in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, who doesn’t truly realize himself. The great challenge for Oedipa is that her security blankets, the males in her life, are gradually proven to be fake or unreliable. She is given the choice to either break down or forge on, regardless of the
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