“His act of faith. In the street the children are singing:

Hark, the herald angels sing:
Mrs. Simpson’s pinched our king . . . ” (Pynchon 180)

Here’s a slightly happier (or maybe deluded) note than what we left class on. The Wiki says that King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, in 1937. The parallel here is obvious: this royal left his lofty, secure, traditional lifestyle for a common woman who had something of a tumultuous background. Likewise, Roger hopes that Jessica will decide against submitting to the war’s dominant system of logic, work, government, and security (as represented by Beaver) and choose to stay with him instead. 

The fact that children are singing this, children that probably haven’t known/experienced anything but the war in their short lifetimes, also suggests that exceptions to the system (Roger and Jessica) can exist within this world despite the dire circumstances of the war. The children are a sign of hope. How much hope does Roger have, though? Roger calls this his act of faith, a huge moment for him considering his strong assertions towards statistical logic and fairness, but does he really believe in it? The end of the section ends on “Don’t leave me . . . ” as if he knows he will have to be confronted with Jessica leaving him eventually. This ending came as a sort of hopeless begging to me.


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