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John Kennedy Toole Confederacy of Dunces Analogous to Portrayal of Alcohol
Alcohol has been present in peoples lives for hundreds of years. It arrived in America with the explorers and colonists. Even before the United States became a nation, the Spanish missionaries brought grapevines. Back in the 18th century alcohol was just like any other drink. It was considered harmless. " A federal law passed in 1790 gave provisions for each soldier to receive a ration of one-fourth pint of brandy, rum, or whiskey." ( Kinney 4 ) Alcohol has been everywhere around the world and is a part of everyday life. There are many theories surrounding the use of alcohol. "It calms me down, helps my nerves" ( 6 ) is known as the anxiety thesis. This is derived from Freud's work. " Freud had concluded that in times of anxiety and stress, people fall back on things that have worked for them in the past." ( 6 ) Although this is a cognizant theory, many people relate to it today. This thesis is seen in Confederacy of Dunces. " I gotta have my little drink. It relieves the pressure. You know?" ( Toole 56 ) Toole shows the excuses that Mrs. Reilly has are common with everyone else in the real world. Another theory arose in the late 1960's at the peak of the counterculture. Andrew Weil a seemingly doctor believed that human beings wanted to have a larger experience out of themselves. " In pursuit of these states, alcohol is often used because it is the one intoxicant we make legally available." ( Kinney 7 ) From the 1600's to the 1800's the attitudes towards alcohol were very low-key. Drinking in the colonies was considered a family affair until the beginning of the nineteenth century where it has became more open and destructive.…
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