It is difficult and complicated to define a good and a bad person. We all have different opinions on what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do. People have their own set of personal unwritten rules – also called ethic – which they live by. However sometimes the person himself does not know what he thinks is ethical right or wrong because he has never have to deal with the situation before. In the short story ”Good People” which is written by David Foster Wallace, we get to see what goes through a boys mind when he has an ethical dilemma.
The story is about two colleges students who are waiting a baby. The problem is just that Lane A. Dean, who is the main character, does not know if he wants to keep the baby or not. One doubt leads to another and he ends up doubting his love to Sheri and his faith in God. One of the characteristics in a short story is the fact that there are only a few characters, which is also seen in this story. We get introduced to all the character at once: Lane and his girlfriend, Sheri Fisher. Already from the beginning of the story, we get the feeling of a conflicted character. The fact that our main character is conflicted is illustrated in the narrative. The narrative jumps from one thing to another and it reflects the mind of Lane. The narrator is a third person with a limited point of view. It is told from Lane’s point of view. Lane’s thoughts are represented by the use of stream of consciousness. It gives us the feeling of being inside Lane’s head while he is in the “decision-making-phase”. The fact that the abortion is not told about directly makes the story confusing and disorienting – just like the main characters mind. It was difficult to figure out what the conflict was about.
The story takes place at a park on a bench. The fact that the setting is in nature and at such a calming place as a park is a contrast to Lane’s perplexed mind. We do not get a complex description of the setting.