In John Kennedy O'Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces", Ignatius Reilly feels a certain air of superiority over Myrna Minkoff even though she transforms his life through her advice. In three separate attempts to quiet her insistent criticism and suggestions, Ignatius listens to her advice, each time failing miserably and causing greater misfortune for himself. At the end of the novel, in comedic irony, she saves him from mental and physical captivity.
At the beginning of the relationship between the reader and the association between Ignatius and Myrna, Ignatius writes an egotistical letter to explain his adventures working at and grand plans for Levy Pants. Ignatius explains, "I have several excellent ideas already, and I know that I, for one, will eventually make Mr. Levy decide to put his heart and soul in the firm." (90). In Ignatius's own fantasy world, he honestly thinks that his changes will cause a revolutionary transformation of Levy Pants and he writes to Myrna in an attempt to clarify and reinforce his crazy world view.
Myrna's response to Ignatius's letter expresses a large degree of anxiety for Ignatius's safety. In reply to Ignatius's claims, she writes, "I do not believe a word of what I read. But I am frightened for you." (94). She proposes a cure to Ignatius's loss of mental stability and writes, "You must commit yourself to the crucial problems of the times." (94). Myrna's words provoke Ignatius into following in her own footsteps later in the novel and her correspondence portrays her opinion that Ignatius is a brilliant man losing touch with the world. She believes that only she can prevent it. Her letter declares Ignatius insane and later she makes suggestions to cure Ignatius's breakaway from reality.
Myrna's criticism agitates Ignatius, but he values her opinion, whether or not...