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“Presto Change-o! Tyrone Slothrop’s English Again!”: Puritan Conversion, Imperfect Assurance, and the Salvific Sloth in Gravity’s Rainbow

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Christopher Leise

Whitman College
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Abstract

In 1650, Thomas Pynchon’s first Anglo-American ancestor, William Pynchon, published a pamphlet entitled The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption. Its 158 pages constitute a dialogue between a “Tradesman” and a “Divine” arguing that Jesus did not suffer God’s wrath in atonement for the sins of the Elect, nor did he descend into hell, as the Nicene Creed holds. Rather, according to William, Christ endured the worst of what the devil could dish out, though God did allow Satan to do so. In a sense, William claimed Christ’s suffering on the cross in the gospels resembles Job’s experience in the Old Testament. Most Puritans disagreed with his conclusions: it is clear that New England’s first Pynchon was a far better merchant than a Puritan religious scholar.
How to Cite: Leise, C., (2009). “Presto Change-o! Tyrone Slothrop’s English Again!”: Puritan Conversion, Imperfect Assurance, and the Salvific Sloth in Gravity’s Rainbow. Pynchon Notes. (56-57), pp.127–143. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.10
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Published on 22 Sep 2009.
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