Study Guide

A Confederacy of Dunces Chapter 3

By John Kennedy Toole

Chapter 3

  • The job hunt goes poorly and Ignatius returns home having failed to get a job; as a bonus, though, he insulted a number of prospective employers.
  • Mrs. Reilly points out a job that he could apply for as a filing clerk at Levy's Pants.
  • Meanwhile, Officer Mancuso has, on a tip from Ignatius, decided to investigate the Night of Joy for employing B-girls.
  • He tells his sergeant about the tip, and the sergeant insults him and sends him off to wear funny dress.
  • But the sergeant decides to have other officers investigate the Night of Joy without giving Mancuso credit. Because life is unfair.
  • The scene shifts to Levy Pants, where Mr. Gonzalez, the office manager, is preparing for the day.
  • Levy Pants is a mess. It is rundown and the pay is bad, and employees quit as soon as they're hired, except for Miss Trixie, an elderly and senile assistant accountant.
  • Ignatius shows up, and his singular appearance impresses Gonzalez. Levy Pants's singular appearance impresses Ignatius. They were made for each other.
  • The job is accepted after some haggling. Everyone is happy… for the moment.
  • Over to the Night of Joy, where Lana Lee and Jones are squabbling about money; Jones says he's just waiting to report her to the police for some infraction.
  • A boy named George comes in, and Lana asks him how the orphans like what she sent them. It doesn't really seem like they're talking about orphans though (hint, hint.)
  • Ignatius is heading back home in a taxi, writing his observations about Levy Pants on some stationary.
  • He is pleased with his job, largely because he isn't actually expected to do much of anything.
  • He tells his mother that he got a job and she is very excited; he also lets her think that Miss Trixie is a young woman and that there is a chance that she and Ignatius will get together.
  • Mrs. Reilly goes out bowling with Officer Mancuso, much to Ignatius's horror.
  • In bitterness, Ignatius tears open a letter from his sort-of ex-girlfriend Myrna Minkoff.
  • She suggests he is paranoid and possibly homosexual; she also tells him he needs to have sex or he'll end up as an invalid. Some letter.
  • Also, she's in a play and wonders if he'd like to come to New York to play the landlord.
  • Ignatius determines that he will get even with her for her offensiveness.