Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Punisher Kills the American Literary Canon

House of the Seven Gables

Francis Stonham is young daguerrotypist staying at the Pyncheon family’s ancestral mansion. While researching the Pyncheon family history, he is haunted by the ghost of Alice, who was driven mad by young Matthew Maule, who was retaliating for the murder of his grandfather on suspicion of witchcraft. Disgusted with the terror wrought by the two families in their dispute over the land on which the house rests, Stoneham crushes Jaffrey's trachea and leaves him twitching helplessly as he demolishes the house with improvised satchel charges.


Captain Castle, on a mad quest for revenge against the white whale that took his leg, hires a crew of whalers under false pretenses. Realizing the danger Castle’s obsession has placed them in, the crew attempts a mutiny. In the ensuing melee, Castle kills Ishmael and Queequeg with a cavalry saber, hurls Starbuck to his death in the unforgiving sea, and drives the remaining crew toward his quarry. The white whale rams the Pequod from beneath, utterly destroying it; ignoring the panicked cries of his crew, Castle hurls himself into the beast’s gullet, where he detonates the suicide vest he invented for the occasion.

House of Mirth

Frannie Bart is a woman of high social standing in New York who rejects several advantageous marriage proposals, holding out for a marriage that is both economically and emotionally fulfilling. When a scandal destroys her reputation, she suffers an escalating series of humiliations, as she’s forced to learn new ways to survive. To that end, she steals a set of love letters from erstwhile suitor Lawrence Selden, and uses them to blackmail the Dorsets and the Trenors, framing Simon Rosedale in the process. Luring them all into Rosedale’s expansive conservatory during a well-attended gala, she opens fire with a Gatling gun, killing the aristocracy of New York at a stroke.

The Great Gatsby

Frank Castle works at a gas station out by the valley of the ashes. When his wife dies in a car wreck caused by some precious New England socialites, he drowns Gatsby in his pool, garrottes Daisy with her own jewelry, crushes Jordan's skull with a golf club, and chases Tom into the valley, where he is caught in a bear trap and left to die under the watchful eyes of T.J.Eckleburg. Nick attempts to flee to his ancestral Midwest, but is killed by an explosive hidden in his valise.

The Sun Also Rises

Depressed and broke, alcoholic veteran Frank Barnes drinks his way through Europe, beside promiscuous divorcee Brett Ashley. Frustrated by a war injury that has left him impotent, and annoyed that Brett keeps sleeping with his friends, Frank drinks himself blind and unleashes a herd of bulls onto the streets of Pamplona. Thousands are killed.

As I Lay Dying

With the death of matriarch Addie Bundren, her children attempt to honor her wishes by burying her in Jefferson. The journey is a long and tumultuous one, and the family is repeatedly waylaid by flooding, injuries, and unintended pregnancies. Meanwhile, Addie’s corpse is rotting in its coffin, and attracting a great deal of attention. Frustrated with his family’s inability to communicate clearly with one another, Addie’s son Frank locks the whole family, coffin and all, in a barn, which he then sets ablaze.

White Noise

Frank Castle kills many, many people in a college town. Everyone is too preoccupied with the inevitability of their own deaths to notice.

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