Although I'm sure some of it went over my head, I was particularly fond of the long chapter in section 4 that was broken down into short snippets of moments and stories. This section is near the end of the novel (in the 700's pages) and I feel that it opens up some new ideas while pulling others together (especially regarding Slothrop). I'm just going to talk about a few of the sections I thought were interesting and see what you guys think.
Quite a few of these sections dealt with Slothrop, specifically his childhood and his family. One section, called "Mom Slothrop's Letter to Embassador Kennedy" was particularly interesting to me because it's essentially a letter where Slothrop's mother self-consciously expresses her serious concern for little Tyrone. She came off as an intensely depressed woman who drowns her sorrows in a falsely cheery demeanor and one too many martini's. She begins the letter very playfully, but says she feels like "they're pieces of the Heavenly City falling down." She says "Sometimes things aren't very clear [...] in my heart I kep getting this terrible fear, this empty place, and it's very hard at times to really belive in a Plan with a shape bigger than I can see" (682 in my book). Perhaps she feels regret and confusion about the things Tyrone is being subjected to, but is grappling with the people who tell her that it is necessary. I think this highlights the plight of multiple characters in this book who are working towards a cause they don't fully understand, or are driven by anonymous powers and forces.
Another section, called "Heart-to-heart, Man-to-Man" is seemingly a flashback of a conversation between Slothrop and his father. In an eerie 1950's-american-father-to-son style conversation, Slothrop and his dad talk about the new trend kids are following of "screwing in", or shooting electricity into their head. While his father expresses concern about him plugging in and never coming back, Slothrop seems to think this is the best solution: "Maybe there is a Machine to take us away, take us completely, suck out out through the electrodes out of the skull 'n' into the machine and live there forever with all the other souls it's got stored there [...] We can live forever, in a clean, honest, purified Electroworld" (699 in my book). This reminded me a lot of the philosopher Robert Nozick and his idea of the 'Experience Machine', a hypothetical machine human beings could plug into in order to feel intense pleasure and simulate exciting or happy experiences. I feel that it embodies a generation obsessed with hedonism, self-interest and personal happiness, who are willing to disconnect from the world in order to liberate themselves from pain. And considering the psychologically damaging childhood we can assume Slothrop had, it seems almost natural that he would express this desire.
There are also several sections on toilets, including "Listening to the Toilet", and "An Incident in the Transwestites' Toilet" in which Slothrop is dressed like a woman, and confronts a giant ape that intends to sodomize him (which I believe was a direct reference to Slothrop's earlier journey down the toilet, and might be connected to his supressed fear of being raped by black people).
Also, did anyone else get the feeling that the sections where Saure obsessively questioned American phrases (such as "Ass backwards" and "Shit 'n' Shinola") has to do with Pynchon's critique of language?