Essay on "Good People"

1174 Words Mar 13th, 2014 5 Pages
Good People
What does it mean to be a good person? How can one respect oneself without hurting others? Are we able to judge whether a decision is wrong or right? Do we really know what love is? ... Questions like these have always existed, but what happens when an author tries to comprehend the complexity of being ‘good people’? Is it possible to write about an issue like this? In David Foster Wallace’s short story “Good People” from 2007 we experience an attempt to do so.

In the short story ”Good People” Wallace manages to reflect upon the complex discussion of what ‘good people’ are, as this is the main theme of the text. To discuss this the story revolves around supporting themes of religious, existentialistic and ethical
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One of the most remarkable proofs of this is expressed in the following quotation, where several different topics jump to Lane’s mind:

“Two days before, he had awakened very early and tried to pray but could not. He was freezing … but he had not thought of his father … which had once filled him with such pity ... Lane Dean, Jr., felt sun on one arm as he pictured in his mind an image of himself on a train, waving mechanically to something that got smaller and smaller as the train pulled away. Sheri’s hair was colored … They’d sat here long enough that only their right side was shaded now. He could look at her head, but not at her. Different parts of him felt unconnected to each other”4.

In the above quotation we see how Lane’s thoughts sporadically differ between four different things in only eight lines. Together with this the quotation illustrates that the associations stresses this common feature of the plot of revolving on the main theme in this rather incoherent way. The statement saying “Different parts of him felt unconnected to each other” explicitly shows an actual realization in the cognitive development.. This two-sided aspect of the plot is reflected in the rest of the story in different ways; in the narrative technique and in the characters and their relations.

Through the narrative technique we comprehend how Wallace elegantly portrays the main theme. Wallace

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