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Abdo Nebel Abdo Prof. Kate O’Leary Eng112 Spring,2019 Literary Analysis on “The Good People” In literature, literary analysis involves a careful examination a work of literature on an opinion-based essay which seeks to give relevant meaning basing on readers understanding. Focusing on literary analysis, this paper examines this short story with an attempt of giving opinion basing on it. The short story, ‘Good people’ is a literary work that is open to criticism, not fault-finding, but seeking its strength and possible weakness. To begin with what motivates a character, Lane is notable that he is motivated by Christian values that he seeks to observe without contradicting them. Lane is silently agreeing that he and his girlfriend and in a tough moment of making the right decision on whether to have an abortion or have a child. The fear of contradicting Christian values makes him be undecided between keeping the pregnancy and at the same time killing. Keeping the pregnancy means that the child is an outcome of a secret sin which proves that they broke Christian values that motivates his self-image as a Christian. Basing on Christian values, Lane sees rules set for the Christian society to be for his personal gain and not as a punishment. “He so fervently wished it never happened. He felt like he knew now why it was a true sin and not just a leftover rule from past society. He felt like he had been brought low by it and humbled and now did believe that the rules were there for a reason” (Wallace 3). The character’s conflict comes from tension on the moral dilemma where he cannot find an answer on what to choose. His personal morals that constitute his self-image as a Christian and reasonable tactical decision to take on is what worries them. Lean as a selfish Abdo and a hypocrite person is in a dilemma. He cannot find a practical solution for what he can do to save their existing situation. The story rotates around his connection with God, their unwanted pregnancy that is illicit by their beliefs and his possible deliberation of having an abortion. Name Instructor Course Date Literary Analysis of the Good People. Introduction In literature, literary analysis involves a careful examination of literary work on an opinionbased essay, which seeks to give relevant meaning basing on readers understanding. The short story, ‘Good people’ is a literary work that is open to criticism, not fault finding, but seeking its strength and possible weakness. Focusing on literary analysis, this paper examines this short story with an attempt of giving opinion. “Good People” by Wallace is a literary work that epitomes embattled two unmarried Christian youths, who face tremendously tough choice making on what is ethical and religious implications. As the narrative opens, the reader is made to see the two troubled couples seated on a picnic table who in lingering fear and loss of courage to face the idea of abortion. To begin with what motivates a character, in this case Lane, it is notable that he is motivated by Christian values that he seeks to observe without contradicting them. Lane is silently agreeing that he and his girlfriend are in tough moment of making the right decision on whether to have an abortion or have a child. The fear of contradicting Christian values, makes him be torn between keeping the pregnancy and at the same time killing. Keeping the pregnancy means that the child is an outcome of a secret sin which proves that they contravened Christian values that motivates his self-image as a Christian. Basing on Christian values, Lane sees rules set for the Christian society to be for his personal gain and not as punishment. “He so fervently wished it never happened. He felt like he knew now why it was a true sin and not just a left over rule from past society…and that the rules were there for a reason” (Wallace 3). The character’s conflict comes from tension on the moral dilemma where he can not find answer on what do choose, that is, his personal morals that constitute his self-image as a christian and reasonable pactical decision to take on what is ailing them. Lean as a selfish and a hypocryte person is in dilemma. He cannot find the practical solution of what he can do to save their existing situation. The story rotates around his connection with God, their unwanted pregnancy that is illicit by their belifs and his possible deliberation of having an abortion. Any decision may result in either breaking his relation with God, ruining religeous morals, exposing his girlfriend to shame and killing her vision of becoming a nurse. In this mixed up and troubled situation Lean is left in urgent nessecity of trying to choose what right decision they may take without putting their morals at stake. In an omnicient point of view, Wallace views Lane contemplating on Sheris mind on the issue of having an abortion, showing that the two were in dilemma. Wallace denotes that “the whole thing felt balanced on a knife or wire; if he moved to put his armor touch her whe whole thing would tip over” (2). In the view of character’s faith it is notable that he is neither faithful to God nor Sheri because, he cares more on fulfilling his selfish needs. In this view, the charcter, had an illicit act with Sheri for his enjoyment purposes thereby contravening christian values. This made him unfaithful to God. On the other hand, in his hypocritical state of mind, he promises to be with Sheri but he is undecided to take responsibility of his actions. Sheri knowing him well, in her mind, she resolves to take all responsiblities without bothering him. Wallace says that “ she will carry this ,and have it,and love it and make no claim on Lane except for his good wish and respecting what she has to do. That she realeases him…” (5). In this notation from sheri’s thought, it’s clear that Lane’s initial claim is hypocritical and does not show his faithfullness to Sheri. Conclusion This paper has done a literary analysis which has observed character’s motivation on his conduct, to whom is he faithful and what was his conflict. It has noted that the character was motivated by christian values, he was neither faithful to God nor Sheri but was only meeting his selfish needs and his conflict was based moral dilemma. WORK CITED Wallace, F. David. Good people: Two Young Christian and Unwanted Pregnancy, New York: 2007. Print. David Foster Wallace Author(s): James Annesley Source: Journal of American Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Apr., 2009), pp. 131-134 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British Association for American Studies Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40464353 Accessed: 04-05-2019 22:52 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms Cambridge University Press, British Association for American Studies are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of American Studies This content downloaded from 164.106.248.203 on Sat, 04 May 2019 22:52:59 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Journal of American Studies, 43 (2009), i, 1 31-134 © 2009 Cambridge University Press doi: 1 o. 1 o 1 7/S002 1875 809006 1 00 Printed in the United Kingdom Review Essay David Foster Wallace JAMES ANNESLEY David Foster Wallace's literary reputation rests largely on his achievements in Infinite Jest (1996), a sprawling tale of tennis, familial relationships, conspiracies, drug dependence and a great deal more. Building on the themes and styles he had first explored in The Broom of the System (1987), a novel that tells of Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman's attempts to unravel some of the many mysteries that surround her, Infinite Jest tests the character and endurance of readers in ways that few books dare to do with its densely comic prose and a narrative that builds intricate interlocking arcs upon paranoid foundations. Owing a great deal to John Barth, Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo, Wallace often acknowledged his debt to metafiction and was happy to pay homage to his postmodern ancestry. Wallace, though, was always concerned to do more than simply emulate. The challenge for him was to revivify their work and find a way, as he explained in "E Unibus Pluram," to combine "neo-postmodern techniques" with "a genuine socio-artistic agenda."1 Driving this ambition was the knowledge that the radical energy of metafiction's experiments had been dissipated. While praising Robert Coover and Vladimir Nabakov during an early interview with Larry McCaffery, he noted that their approach got "empty and solipsistic real fast" and went on to suggest that "by the mid-seventies, I think, everything useful about the mode had been exhausted. "2 Wallace's aim was to "get it over with, and then out of the rubble reaffirm the idea of art being a living transaction between humans. "3 It is this search for a synthesis between the elaborate codes of literary experiment and a plain and unreflexive humanism that informs Wallace's work, a search that gives shape to Infinite Jest. At the heart of the novel is a very shaggy McGuffin - the mysterious movie said to have been made by James Incandenza, lost father to tennis prodigy Hal, the novel's immaculately stoned central protagonist. Infinite Jest, a.k.a. The Entertainment, is a film so transcendendy amusing that it transports die viewer into a blissful state of catatonia. Because of this power, it becomes the focus for a series of slapstick quests, an object sought by various organizations including government agencies and the AFR (les Assassins en fauteuils roulants), a Québécois separatist group. For the AFR, the aim is to "secure the original Master, the auteur* s Newcasde University. 1 David Foster Wallace, "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction," in idem, A Supposedly Fun Thing F II Never Do Again (London: Abacus, 1998), 21-82, 51. 2 Larry McCaffery, "An Interview with David Foster Wallace," Review of Conemporary Fiction, 13, 2 (1993), 127-50, 140. 3 Ibid., 140. This content downloaded from 164.106.248.203 on Sat, 04 May 2019 22:52:59 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 1 3 2 Review Essay own cartridge, from which all Read-only copies had presumably been copied, " and use it as a weapon against imperialism.4 Like the soul of aesthetic radicalism lost to contemporary fiction and mourned by Wallace, the master tape, representing authenticity, rupture and rebellion, comes to haunt the text. It is not just out of reach, but out of time, an anachronism in a homogenized future that has seen the US transformed by corporate interests and absorbed into a single continental state, called, in terms typical of Wallace, ONAN, the Organization of North American Nations. The desire to recuperate metafiction is, of course, like the pursuit of Infinite Jest the movie, quixotic. The truth is that there is little possibility of forging a functioning marriage between the formal freedoms found by Barth and Pynchon and an unreflexive humanism precisely because it was, in part, the interrogation of humanism's commonsensical values that gave metafiction its critical and imaginative energy in the first place. Beyond that, it is difficult to see how Wallace could ever have found a genuine radicalism while he remained committed to repeating an experiment that was first run thirty years before, no matter how brilliant the performance. In this regard, Infinite Jest is powerfully contradictory. More than just a piece of nostalgia, it is a novel caught in an ironic yearning for the authenticity and critical energy it sees in postmodernism's golden age. Despite this paradox, or perhaps because of it, Wallace's novel remains very influential and it has had an important impact on the shape of contemporary American fiction, particularly on the work of those linked to Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern^ one of America's most distinctive literary magazines. Overseen by Dave Eggars, and promoting Jonathan Safran Foer, Joshua Ferris and many others, almost all of the novelists connected with McSweeney's echo Wallace's interest in metafictional techniques, comic observations, wordplay and stories that go round and round and round. Most famous among them is Foer, a writer whose novels seem to offer the most striking expression of the possibilities and the pitfalls of the kind of project mapped out by Wallace. Both of Foer's novels offer sparkling demonstrations of technical sophistication at the same time as they expose an alarming intellectual naivety. Everything is Illuminated (2002), a novel that seems, in various awkward moments, to pre-empt Borat (2006), finds itself torn between its commitment to linguistic virtuosity and its attempt to represent the Holocaust. In similar terms, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), his gauche account of 9/1 1, offers a dramatic illustration of the gulf between a politically limited and sentimental tale and an endlessly inventive telling. While prefiguring key parts of Foer's narrative architecture, Infinite Jest is, in contrast, a less arch, less mannered novel. Wisely perhaps, it does not engage with real historical events, but prefers to offer a satirical pseudohistory of the near future, and as such it is able to step cheerfully past the traps that Foer finds so easily. It is, moreover, a novel that glows with an avuncular warmth that makes it, like all of Wallace's work, enjoyably readable, a quality that needs to be interpreted in part as a reaction to the flat minimalism that dominated much of American fiction in the 1980s and 1990s. When Wallace started writing, Raymond Carver's voice was dominant, notably on the creative-writing programmes run at many US universities. 4 David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (London: Abacus, 2008; first published 1996), 725. This content downloaded from 164.106.248.203 on Sat, 04 May 2019 22:52:59 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Review Essay 1 3 3 At the same time, blank tales of urban angst in the brand-heavy world of New York and Los Angeles were becoming the novels of choice for many American readers. Wallace clearly felt ill at ease with these hard, laconic styles and was particularly critical of Bret Easton Ellis. "If the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic and stupid," Wallace observed, then I (or any writer) can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy . . . bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid, shallow and mean, then Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything.5 In this respect, his love of playful language, rambling plots and easy compassion can be read as a reaction to the studied bleakness of a novel like American Psycho (1991). Unlike Ellis, the world Wallace imagined was never mean and shallow and his vision, though often pessimistic, was rarely cynical. In keeping with the work of the best writers in the McSiveene/s stable, or indeed in the cinema, where similar energies are informing the films of Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze, there remains, despite all of the difficulties raised by his revamped metafiction, Wallace's determination to find life in goofy stories. His richly complicated linguistic games are consistently endearing. Reading Wallace's witty, loquacious fiction in these terms, does, inevitably, prompt unhappier reflections on Wallace himself and the nature of his death. Suicide encourages reappraisal and just as it is hard to read Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf without thinking about the way they ended their lives, so too is it difficult not to look for intimations and evidence in Wallace's work. At first sight, Wallace, an author with limitless intellectual energy and good humour, seems an unlikely victim of his own despair. The sad truth is, however, that the clues were everywhere. Though well disguised by linguistic riffs and the endless narrative twists, there is no doubt that the mental turmoil of the Incandenza brothers, all three mourning a father who took his own life, forms the spine oí Infinite Jest. Even so, the novel looks a lot gloomier today than it ever did before. When I first read it over one long hot summer at the end of the 1990s, I heard echoes of merry pranksterism in the title. Today it seems to resonate much more deeply with a grim Shakespearian nihilism. True of his fiction, it is also true of his essays. Though many of them, like "Up Simba," a memorable piece on John McCain's first attempt to secure the Republican Party's presidential nomination, are beautifully comic, there is, in reality, a persistent strain of melancholia in all of Wallace's work, a strain that seems even more sor- rowful when it surfaces in unlikely places. "How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart," for example, is an essay in which Wallace sets out to entertain his readers (and himself) in characteristic fashion by aiming some weighty literary cannonballs at the soft target that is the tennis star's ghostwritten autobiography. At root, though, his engaging overreaction to the crowd of banalities that fill Beyond Center Court: My Story (1992) is actually motivated by a much more mournful conceit. For Wallace, himself a highly ranked junior tennis player, Austin's book is initially fascinating because it 5 McCaffery, 132. This content downloaded from 164.106.248.203 on Sat, 04 May 2019 22:52:59 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 134 Review Essay seems to reveal an astonishing absence of self-consciousness. Her ghosted persona is uniformly sunny, aware only of life's positives even as she faces up to the events that will end her career. Wallace is struck that she is unable to think of a single critical observation to make about her fellow players, the parents that had her playing tennis from dawn till dusk six days a week, or the injuries and misfortunes that saw her slip from world number one at eighteen to virtual retirement at twenty- two. For him, at least at the start of his essay, her lack of insight is astonishing. As the piece comes to its conclusion, however, it becomes increasingly clear that Wallace is starting to envy her lack of imagination, starting to envy her ability to shut out the clamour of doubts and insecurities. In the end, it is this that really breaks his heart. Unlike Austin, he could never shut out "the Iago-like voice of the self."6 As James Wallace explained to the obituarist from The New York Times, his son had "been in hospital a couple of times over the summer and had undergone electro-convulsive therapy. Everything had been tried, and he just couldn't stand it anymore. "7 6 David Foster Wallace, "How Tracy Austen Broke My Heart," in idem, Consider the Lobster (London: Abacus, 2005), 141-55, 154. 7 Bruce Weber, "David Foster Wallace," New York Times, 1 5 Sept. 2008, A23. This content downloaded from 164.106.248.203 on Sat, 04 May 2019 22:52:59 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms ...
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Literary Analysis of the Good People
Introduction
In literature, literary analysis involves a careful examination of literary work on an
opinion-based essay, which seeks to give relevant meaning basing on readers understanding.
The short story, ‘Good people' is a literary work that is open to criticism, not fault-finding,
but seeking its strength and possible weakness. The literary analysis of this paper examines
this short story with an attempt of giving an opinion. “Good People” by Wallace is a literary
work that epitomes embattled two unmarried Christian youths, who face tremendously tough
choice making on what is ethical and religious implications. As the narrative opens, the
reader is made to see the two troubled couples seated on a picnic table who in lingering fear
and loss of courage to face the idea of abortion.
To begin with, what motivates a character, in this case, Lane, it is notable that he is
driven by Christian values that he seeks to observe without contradicting them. Lane is
silently agreeing that he and his girlfriend are in a tough moment of making the right decision
on whether to have an abortion or have a child. The fear of contradicting Christian values,
makes him be torn between keeping the pregnancy and at the same time killing. Continuing
the pregnancy means that the child is an outcome of a secret sin which proves that they
contravened Christian values that motivates his self-image as a Christian. Basing on Christian
values, Lane sees rules set for the Christian society to be for his gain and not as a punishment.
“He so fervently wished it never happened. He felt like he knew now why it was a true...

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