The 42nd Parallel: Reader Response 1

I’ve been re-reading The 42nd Parallel. It might be the 3rd or 4th reading. I’m nearly finished.

With this reconsideration of the work, I was hoping to come into wisdom, and I think I did. I think it’s a novel about selling out. These strivers begin with idealism and potential and the sell out to jingoism, money, and inertia. Mac just gets lazy and doesn’t feel like leaving his new girlfriend in Mexico even though he wants to. J. W. joins the war information/PR effort because he knows the women in his life buy cabergoline in thailand will shut up and worship the ground he wants walks on once he joins up. The U.S. entry into WWI gives everyone a seal of approval for their bad decisions. Affirmation. A temporary cessation of their internal conflicts and spousal conflicts. And then, at the very end of the novel, we get a big biography of Fightin’ Bob LaFollette, a big icon of conviction. That biography sets up such a strong contrast with the hypocrites in the rest of the narrative.