Study Guide

A Confederacy of Dunces Chapter 7

By John Kennedy Toole

Chapter 7

  • The chapter opens at the garage that houses Paradise Vendors, a hot dog seller.
  • Ignatius comes by and asks to buy a hot dog or four; he also mentions that he is looking for work.
  • The hot dot seller asks him to work as a vendor, since he desperately needs vendors, but Ignatius says no.
  • But then he reveals that he has no money, since his mother has confiscated even his pocket change lest he go to the movies rather than look for work.
  • The hot dog guy says he'll call the police unless Ignatius pays him… or works as a vendor.
  • He threatens Ignatius with a rusty fork. Looking down the barrel of the fork, Ignatius agrees to push the cart around for an hour in exchange for the hot dogs he bought.
  • Off he goes with his cart and his apron and his hat. He figures it's better than looking for work and getting sneered at by personnel managers.
  • He muses about how he sent Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy to Officer Mancuso to comfort him in his bus bathroom. His mother thought it was a sweet gesture and left him alone for a bit.
  • Ignatius eats hot dog after hot dog.
  • George wanders up the street with an armload of packages from Lana, sees Ignatius, and asks for a hot dog.
  • Ignatius refuses because he doesn't like George's looks and also probably because he wants to eat all the hot dogs himself.
  • He drives George away with his tantrum and screaming. People on the street think he's nuts. They are not necessarily wrong.
  • Ignatius returns and tells his boss that a boy stole all the hot dogs.
  • Over to the Night of Joy, where Lana and Jones are bickering.
  • Lana is gathering props for her project with George, whatever that project might be; the props include a globe, some chalk, and a book, which she needs George to get for her.
  • In the meantime, she tells Darlene to forget about the striptease act with the cockatoo. She figures it'll be terrible, and it's better to have Darlene on commission than to pay her a salary.
  • At Ignatius's house, Mrs. Reilly calls Santa to tell her how disappointed she is in Ignatius for being a hot dog vendor. (Why this is worse than filing papers is not really clear.)
  • Ignatius is in the tub reading a letter from Myrna Minkoff.
  • Myrna is planning to give a lecture on erotic revolution, or some such, and her letter is about how she's met some exciting guy and how Ignatius needs to have orgasms to be fulfilled.
  • Ignatius gets out of the tub and writes her a letter in response in which he tells her she is obscene and disgusting and that he probably won't write to her anymore.

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