72 pages 2 hours read

Thomas Pynchon

Gravity's Rainbow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1973

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Part 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2 Summary: “Un Perm’au Casino Hermann Goering”

During the last weeks of 1944, Slothrop is in a lavish hotel near the beach. He has been sent to Monaco, an independent city state on the French Riviera. At this time, the Allied forces have pushed the Nazis out of France, but the casino is currently still named the Casino Hermann Goering. Slothrop has his own room, while Bloat and Tantivy must share a bedroom. The two Englishmen envy the American’s talent for attracting women, unlike the “rather reserved” Englishmen.

Tantivy shouts at “three pretty girls” (137) from the hotel balcony, but when the women invite the three men to a beach picnic, Tantivy is horrified that Slothrop chooses to wear a colorful Hawaiian shirt. On the beach, Bloat points out a woman who seems to be giving “the eye” to Slothrop; before he can approach her, an octopus attacks the woman and tries to drag her into the sea. Slothrop attacks the octopus and saves the woman, gaining the impression that the octopus is “not in good mental health” (140). Bloat tells Slothrop not to kill the octopus and hands him a crab to use to distract it. The woman is Katje Borgesius. Slothrop reflects on the attack.