72 pages 2 hours read

Thomas Pynchon

Gravity's Rainbow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1973

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Part 3, Section 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3, Section 2 Summary: “In the Zone”

Slothrop continues to ride aboard the Anubis and, as they reach a harbor on the Oder River, a storm hits. The storm further delays the already late journey and turns the formerly chaotic, gleeful orgy participants into seasick stragglers, “decorated with sunbursts of vomit” (367). Slothrop searches for Bianca but cannot find her. He begins to suspect that Margherita was sent by Them, especially as she knows about the Imipolex G and the S-Gerät. In these moments, he notices how far away he seems from being able to detect the flight of rockets. He does not feel like he can return to those days. Slothrop catches sight of a person who looks like Bianca; he sees her slip and fall on the vomit-strewn deck. Before he can reach her, someone hits him hard in the kidneys and pushes him overboard.

Slothrop is pulled from the river and onto a barge belonging to a woman named Frau Gnahb and her son, Otto. She explains to Slothrop that she works in the black market and declares herself to be “queen of the coastal trade” (369). By the next morning, the storm has calmed. Slothrop leaves the barge and goes ashore to find Der Springer, whom he discovers is actually Gerhard von Göll.