The scene around the bridge reminds us of what the material world really is: “Trees creak in sorrow for the engineered wound through their My 20th Birthday The One Where We Were Masked And Vaccinated T-Shirts , their terrenity or earthood.” Interestingly, The Secret Life of Plants, the book that introduced the scientific world to the idea of plant sentience, was released in 1973, a few months after Gravity’s Rainbow. And there’s also this: “High up the slope, someone is swinging an ax-blade into a living tree…” A rather brutal and unfortunately commonplace image of Man’s destruction of the Earth’s flora, intended here to illustrate our often completely unnecessary disruption and alteration of the natural world.
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So, the actual story here is that Geli Tripping has blinded Tchitcherine through the use of a voodoo doll: the text describes “the eyes of the doll, his eyes, Eastern and liquid, though they’d been only sketched on clay with her My 20th Birthday The One Where We Were Masked And Vaccinated T-Shirts only long fingernail”, which is interesting for a few reasons. First of all, voodoo dolls were actually used historically to fight back AGAINST witches, which means that this Pynchon guy must be some sort of idiot. More importantly though is the idea raised by voodoo itself, the next form of magic in the text: the idea of controlling the life of a person through the use of forces beyond their comprehension is one of the major themes of the novel.