Good People By David Foster Wallace Essay

1350 Words May 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
In the modern world there are many different communities with different social values. While there are “rules” that almost everyone can agree on, such as murder or taking another’s property is wrong, there are several rules that, from inside a community, seem immutable or common sense, but from the outside they are flippant, arbitrary, and restricted. In the story “Good People” David Foster Wallace uses the circumstances of an unplanned pregnancy to examine the social isolation that can occur inside of religious communities with strict and impossibly high standards of “goodness”, and the self hatred that occurs when those inside the community fail to meet those standards.
The story “Good People” is shown through the eyes of Lane Dean Jr, and is a snapshot in his life as he contemplates with his girlfriend Sheri about their unplanned pregnancy. It takes place in the early morning of a spring day, and in a park by a shallow lake. Sheri is described as “very good and clean, like someone you could trust and care about even if you weren’t in love”(Wallace 150) and that Lane’s mother thinks of her as “down to earth and liked her, thought she was good people, you could tell” (Wallace 150). Lane speaks of how often he prays and references scripture throughout his internal monologue and that “he was desperate to be good people, to still be able to feel he was good” (Wallace 151). The couple met in campus ministries at their college and they went to the same church. Throughout the…

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