Analysis Of Octet In Brief Interviews, By Oedipus

2339 Words10 Pages
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 way, like a kind of death”(156) As the proof of the difficulty of the self-loss, many characters suffer from their solipsism, impossibility to give up selfishness. A pop quiz in “Octet,” X keeps going to the sickroom of his father-in-law, without becoming able to empathize with him and his
Open Document