Infinite Jest Literary Analysis

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Simultaneity in fiction chronicles the same events from different perspectives all with conflicting, but correct accounts. David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest collects addiction narratives where characters all suffer from similar archetypical human urges. At first glance, they compose a Stand Alone Complex, their actions uninfluenced by a sole originator, but nevertheless still capable of combining into a collective narrative that manifests in physical change. Their lives are chronicled unrooted in year or nonfictional location in the “The Year of the Adult Depends Undergarment” sections. By contrast, two clearly dated chapters, “WINTER B.S 1960 - TUCSON AZ” and “WINTER, B.S. 1963, SEPULVEDA CA,” chronicle Jim Incandenza’s clearly set memories…show more content…
1960 - TUCSON AZ” section establishes the origin of many repeated motifs in Infinite Jest. One example is the spider motif: Jim’s father toasts to the “spiderless section” of the garage, describes his own father as having “a healthy respect for spiders,” and mentions “spiders well known to infest the palms’ fronds” (Wallace 157, 164-165, 167) . Though the spider is mainly used in the A.A. chapters to describe addiction, exercise addiction and compulsive thinking plague the Incandenzas. Accordingly, Jim’s father recalls losing a match that ended his tennis career to slipping on a suicidal spider, much like Hal could lose his athletic standing to addiction. This chapter also marks the first appearance of “Himself,” which Jim’s father uses to refer to his own father (Wallace 165). This means the name’s use in the Incandenza family goes back three generations, or could be derived from the biblical “Him.” Most importantly, it shows the origin of the phrase, “I am in here,” said by Hal in the opening chapter. Jim’s father states that, “I was in there,” referring to his body during the tennis match (Wallace 168). Originating these motifs back to Jim’s father in an anchored chronological point hints to him as their creator, therefore supporting multiplicity instead of
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