Empathy In David Foster Wallace's 'Octet'

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Oedipus, after pricking his eyes, leaves the city Thebes. This is cathartic in regard to the emission of the impurity, and to leave the position of king, the center of the city. That is, Oedipus cathartically resigned to be and to be in the center. This is metaphorically connected to the empathy in David Foster Wallace, since empathy requires you to give up self-centeredness and self itself, which sometimes equals to death itself. This is expressed in “Octet” in Brief Interviews. “Octet” is a short story whose pretense is that this is a fiasco of originally unified eight Pop Quizzes to inquire the reader an ethical question and make them feel urgent. The author of this quizzes, who is addressed as “you” in the ninth quiz reveals that this short belletristic piece aims at showing the cost to truly be with others instead of just selfishly utilizing them in some form. The cost to “truly be with” others “can actually sometimes equal death itself, or at least usually equals your giving up something (either a thing or a person or a precious long-held ‘feeling’ or some certain idea of yourself and your own virtue/worth/identity) whose loss will feel, in a true and urgent…show more content…
Sheri and Lane are a religious couple, and they are distressed about their decision to have an abortion. Lane repeatedly assures to her that he will be in the operation room with her, but she does not believe it. “One thing Lane Dean did was reassure her again that he’ll go with her and be there with her. It was one of the few safe or decent things he could really say”(39). This narration shows the hollowness of his remark. When they keep sitting silent, Lane suddenly have an epiphany, in which he knows that she wants to bear the baby. The moment of the epiphany is described as
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