Good People By David Foster Wallace Essay

911 Words Jul 25th, 2016 4 Pages
The title of the short story “Good People” implies that the story is about people who are morally correct by the cultural standard, or that the characters inevitably attain sainthood for the many good deeds that they perform in their lives. One expects to read an uplifting, encouraging, and even life-changing story. However, the irony in the title is realized when the characters are revealed as far from saint like. In fact, they face the taboo subject of teen pregnancy. In “Good People,” David Foster Wallace uses religion, symbolism, and cultural pressure to show Lane as a character who is unable to claim his sin and force his girlfriend to deal with it.
First, Lane’s religious upbringing tortures him as he mulls over what he has done to Sheri. Lane’s faith in God or lack thereof is his driving force. Because Lane feels conflicted by his beliefs, “Sometimes when alone and thinking or struggling to turn a matter over to Jesus Christ in prayer… Two days before, he had awakened very early and tried to pray but could not” (150). Lane realizes that he only “plays” Church. He acts, and pretends that his beliefs are sincere. Lane was a Christian because his parents were devout Christians. Sheri, too, was a loyal church goer, and when Lane got her pregnant, he feared the intensity of his parent 's religion. Sex before marriage is probably one of the biggest misdeeds in Christianity. Once Lane committed this big sin, he felt reality setting in. If his sin was not dealt with soon, the…

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