Literapedia Book Notes for

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole


  • Ignatius J. Reilly (ch 1) — a fat, arrogant, socially-inept individual who lives with his mother
  • Officer Angelo Mancuso (ch 1) — a kindhearted police officer with bad luck
  • Mrs. Irene Reilly (ch 1) — Ignatius's put upon mother
  • Burma Jones (ch 1) — arrested for vagrancy and forced to work at the Night of Joy
  • Claude Robichaux (ch 1) — elderly man who begins to date Mrs. Reilly
  • Darlene (ch 1) — works at the Night of Joy, later begins a strip show with a cockatoo
  • Lana Lee (ch 1) — owner of the Night of Joy and proprietor of pornography
  • Dorian Greene (ch 1) —a flamboyant homosexual whose friends Ignatius attempts to use for a rally
  • Myra Minkoff (ch 2) — former classmate of Ignatius's at Tulane, the two engage in regular correspondence
  • Mr. Gonzolez (ch 3) — the office manager at Levy Pants
  • Miss Trixie (ch 3) — senile old woman who works as a secretary at Levy pants
  • Gus Levy (ch 3) — owner of Levy Pants
  • George (ch 3) — an "orphan" who is engaged in shady dealings with Lana Lee
  • Mrs. Levy (ch 4) — Gus Levy's oft chastising wife, takes up many "causes," including Miss Trixie
  • Mr. Clyde (ch 7) — Ignatius's boss at Paradise Vendors

Chapter Summaries

  1. Ignatius is accosted by Patrolman Mancuso, who then arrests Burma Jones and Claude Robichaux. Mausco is demoted as a result. Ignatius and his mother visit the Night of Joy where he makes a scene, and on their way home she crashes the car.
  2. Jones gets an underpaid job at the Night of Joy. Mancuso begins many patrols in ridiculous disguises, and he and Mrs. Reilly strike up a friendship.
  3. Mancuso begins to investigate the Night of Joy. Ignatius starts a job at Levy Pants. He later receives a letter from Myra, which shows the odd relationship between the two. Lana engages in suspicious activity with George.
  4. Ignatius forges Gus Levy's signature on a libelous letter and sends it. Mrs. Levy chastises her husband for not putting his heart and soul into Levy Pants. Mrs. Reilly enjoys her self with Macuso and his aunt.
  5. Darlene proposes the Night of Joy incorporate an animal show. Jones becomes suspicious of the "orphan" George. Mancuso is further demoted to the restroom at the bust station. Ignatius visits the factory of Levy Pants.
  6. Jones is inspired to sabotage the Night of Joy. Ignatius tries to instigate a revolt by the factory workers at Levy Pants and fails. He is promptly fired. Mrs. Levy chastises Mr. Levy for firing Ignatius, despite the fact she knows nothing about him. She brings up their daughters many times.
  7. Ignatius is hired to work as a hot dog vendor for Paradise Vendors. Soon after he gets into an altercation with George. Darlene is given a chance to perform her animal act for Lana. Ignatius receives news from Myra about a lecture she is giving. He responds with disgust.
  8. Miss Trixie is taken into the Levy home. Manusco gets sicker and loses a borrowed book to George. Mrs. Reilly hangs out with Mancuso's Aunt Santa and the two shoot the breeze.
  9. Ignatius is told that unless he sells more hot dogs he will be fired. Darlene practices her routine for Lana who agrees to let her perform it for customers as long as she makes certain changes. Jones continues to spy on Lana, hoping still to sabotage the Night of Joy.
  10. Mrs. Levy continues to "help" Miss Trixie, much to Mr. Levy's disdain. Ignatius comes across Dorian Greene, and the two plan for Ignatius to speak at a party of Dorian's.
  11. Mrs. Reilly is set up on a dinner outing with Claude. It goes well. Miss Trixie is taken back to Levy Pants. Mr. Levy reads a response to the letter Ignatius wrote and finds that the company is being sued for $500,000. He learns Ignatius wrote it. George makes amends with Ignatius and agrees to pay him in return for storing pornographic packages in his hot-dog cart. Ignatius is enticed by one of the cards and visits the Night of Joy, where Jones tells him to return later for a special show.
  12. Ignatius's speech fails and he is chased out. He ends up at the Night of Joy. He causes a scene, and at the end of the evening, Mancuso arrests Lana Lee for soliciting and possession of pornography.
  13. Mancuso is celebrated and promoted. Darlene and Jones get new job. Mr Levy escapes the lawsuit by blaming Miss. Trixie. Under advice from Claude, Mrs. Reilly calls the hospital to take Ignatius away. Just before they come, Myrna arrives and Ignatius rides off into the distance with her.

Book Note Creator

Justin Geldzahler, '08