An Analysis of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Powerful Essays
Topics: Tennis, Essay
A Preliminary Explanation/Summarization of A Preliminary Explanation/Summarization

The piece of work you are about to embark upon was written in the summer of 2010 for an individual study contract at The Evergreen State College. My aim with the following piece is to introduce people to Infinite Jest in a way that removes them from the Oh-my-God-that-novel-is-huge mentality but also invokes the possible reader of IJ to take action and to enjoy that action. I began it (the piece) with the idea of writing a simple 10-page essay describing the themes and ideas at play within the Eschaton debacle on pages 380-442 of Infinite Jest. This initial idea was a failure. More importantly, however, the resultant piece was, I believe, a great success. And this is why: the piece below (d)evolves from the original idea into a (at times) chaotic, yet deliberate, exploration into many of the ideas present within IJ and I think that this (d)evolution happened because of the inherent traits of IJ as its own entity. What I mean is that because of the things at work within Wallace’s novel (read as world) there is an organic need to explain and to understand all that Wallace is trying to do and say. And still even more simply: every aspect of IJ is intrinsically connected to every other aspect; and so for any singular part to make any proper sense there is a necessity for explanation of the whole. Other than that, I think that the piece came out like it did, style-wise, because of two things: a) It is very hard not to mimic Wallace’s writing style whilst reading anything by him, and b) because I was having a great deal of fun while writing it. And mainly I want to impart that—the literal, exhilerating fun—onto any reader of this piece and Infinite Jest.

Michael Badger III

Email me with any feedback, complaints, remarks, or discussion at: clydevr1@hotmail.com

An Exhaustive Essay of pages 380-442 of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest1
David Foster Wallace reintroduced the vast and

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    David Foster Wallace In this essay I am going to do my best to give the reader the most informative explanation (within my constraints) of one of the most brilliant authors of the age, David Foster Wallace. He was the author of many great and insightful (at times, dark) works. Some of the more popular/well-known pieces being _The Broom of the System, Girl with Curious Hair, Infinite Jest, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion_, and finally his incomplete…

    • 1748 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Quote In David Foster Wallace’s controversial essay, “Certainly the End of Something, One would Sort of Have to Think,” he writes a very relatable quote, “It’s easy to revile what your parents revere”(53). In this essay I will try to explain to you what this quote really means and give you some examples of situations that may make the quote more relevant to you. The highly relatable quote, “ Its easy to revile what your parents revere,” seems to mean to me that it is common to hate the things…

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    English 101 E: Due Wednesday, August 27 Week 1 Assignment: read David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech at Kenyon College. This is on Blackboard, under “Syllabus and Course Readings.” You can also find it online at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178211966454607.html. Or you can google “David Foster Wallace On Life and Work” and the first result is the reading. Submit your assignment through Turnitin on Blackboard and bring a copy to class. If you have troubles with Turnitin, please…

    • 543 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The speech, was written by David Foster Wallace, and it was delivered to the graduating class of 2005 at Kenyon College. Wallace talked about the real importance of having a degree that it is more than “just a material payoff”. He also tells the students that a liberal arts education is all about “teaching you how to think”. This means that it is all about having the choice of what we can think about. He talks about the real values of an education. It is more than the knowledge we learn but more…

    • 294 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    mindful , conscious and compassionate is a state of begin in life is “Seeing” by Annie Dillard and “This is Water” by David Foster Wallace. In This is Water by David Foster Wallace he uses compassion to develop his speech by talking about his concern and his day-to-day life. Compassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others. Wallace says, “ But please don't worry that i'm getting ready to preach to you about compassion or-directedness or so called…

    • 446 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The author, David Foster Wallace. He gave his only one speech so far in public, in which he talked about his view of life in the city. The speech happened in a commencement of Kenyon College in 2005. Now, the widely distributed video has been into a thin book, which name is “this is water”. At the beginning of the article, author talked a story about the fish, and he points out that “the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and…

    • 568 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Summary of David Foster Wallace’s Commencement Address In 2005 David Foster Wallace delivered the Kenyon College commencement address that was not the typical commencement address you would normally hear at a graduation. He starts off his speech by telling a story having the idea that even the most “important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” He talks about living in the adult world that these soon to be graduates will enter and how it can be very dull at times…

    • 363 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Although being extremely intelligent suggests that an individual knows how to think doesn’t mean that they know how to choose what to think about. In David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech to college graduates, he explains to them that they must become more aware of others and by doing that must learn how to think. Getting educated doesn’t only include learning subjects such as science or math, but also controlling what and how you think about your everyday life and surroundings. Changing the…

    • 500 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    When faced with a predicament, how are you going to respond? Many have attempted to understand what it is that directs the ways individuals go about dealing with their lives and decisions leading them. The short story “Good People” by David Foster Wallace attempts to answer the question as old as time itself. Coming to the conclusion that there is not just one leading factor but multiple intertwined forces obtained from birth and experience. Relationships can guide ones actions when faced with…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Honestly, I have listened to David Foster Wallace’s speech prior to this assignment. But, was I truly listening the first time? I don’t think so, or rather it took time for me to discover the true intention of his presentation. This is water is a mighty odd title, don’t you think? Throughout the reading I kept the image of the fish in the back of my mind, what does the fish scenario mean? David Foster Wallace tells a couple stories: a tale of two men in Alaska and a story of a real-world scenario…

    • 277 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays