Fiction Writers of the New Millennium

In crafting a story of any kind, most writers are familiar with the simple semi-pyramidal construct of beginning, conflict, climax, and resolution.&nbsp. In this construct, stories are expected to have a beginning that introduces the characters, an introduction of conflict that leads to rising action, slowly building the tension until a climax moment is reached.&nbsp. Everything comes together at this point and the problem is generally solved so that the resolution of the story demonstrates how everything worked out or didn’t work out and what the characters learned from the experience.&nbsp. Modern fiction writers, however, have turned away from this simple construct to experiment with variations that often don’t resolve into anything for the characters. If they resolve into anything for the reader, it is up to the reader to find this meaning for themselves. Perhaps in keeping with the breakdowns in society that the authors were seeing at the time they wrote their stories, some of the major fiction writers of the past 50 years have presented stories that lack clear direction, climax or resolution.&nbsp.
In “Entropy”, the author focuses on a scientific principle that suggests nature moves from a point of order to one of disorder (Random House, 2010). The story introduces a great number of characters with new characters arriving all the time and two characters completely separated within an isolated system. The breakdown referred to in the title is seen in every aspect of the story and stated explicitly by Callisto when dictating to Aubade that he “envisioned a heat-death for his culture in which ideas, like heat-energy, would no longer be transferred, since each point in it would ultimately have the same quantity of energy. and intellectual motion would, accordingly, cease” (Pynchon 306). This concept is acted out downstairs as communication and sharing break down among the party guests and the band begins rehearsing air music. Duke explains to Meatball, “if that first quartet of Mulligan’s had no piano, it could only mean one thing … no root chords. Nothing to listen to while you blow a horizontal line.&nbsp.