56 pages 1 hour read

Thomas Pynchon

The Crying of Lot 49

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1966

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapter 3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 3 Summary

Oedipa knows she just acted unfaithfully. By sleeping with Metzger, she broke her vow to Mucho, though this is not the first time this has happened. She thinks about how this affects her view of herself as Rapunzel. When she uncovers the intricacies of the estate, she believes, she will be freed from the metaphorical tower. Oedipa examines Pierce's stamp collection. Pierce has many possessions, but his stamps offer an easy starting point for Oedipa to make sense of what he left behind. At the same time, she continues to sleep with Metzger. As she sorts through the estate and conducts her affair, Mucho sends her a series of tepid, vacuous letters. He has little to report about life back in Kinneret.

One evening, Metzger and Oedipa go to a "strange bar" (30) named the Scope. There, they meet Mike Fallopian. He is part of the Peter Pinguid Society, a far-right organization named after the first military encounter between Russia and the United States. The Peter Pinguid Society is "one of those right-wing nut outfits" (32). They are fiercely pro-American. Oedipa, Metzger, and Mike talk about the organization until Oedipa needs to use the bathroom. In the bathroom, she notices a symbol etched into the wall of the stall "among lipsticked obscenities" (35).