Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Infinite Jest: Introduction
Infinite Jest: Plot Summary
Infinite Jest: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Infinite Jest: Themes
Infinite Jest: Quotes
Infinite Jest: Characters
Infinite Jest: Terms
Infinite Jest: Symbols
Infinite Jest: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of David Foster Wallace
Historical Context of Infinite Jest
Other Books Related to Infinite Jest
- Full Title: Infinite Jest
- When Written: Mid 1980s-1995
- Where Written: Arizona; Massachusetts; Illinois
- When Published: 1996
- Literary Period: Postmodernism, Hysterical Realism
- Genre: Encyclopedic Novel
- Setting: The novel’s main settings are the fictional town of Enfield, Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, and Arizona, which are all part of the North American super-state O.N.A.N., comprised of the US, Canada, and Mexico. The story is set over a nine-year period in an unspecified near future; some critics suggest this may be the 2000s.
- Climax: Because the novel has dozens of different plots, there is no single climactic moment
- Antagonist: Several antagonists in different plotlines; the overarching antagonist is arguably corporate culture and its intersection with government power
- Point of View: Mostly third person, with occasional passages narrated from the first person
Extra Credit for Infinite Jest
The infinite novel. Although the published version of Infinite Jest is 1100 words long (including the lengthy endnote section), the manuscript Wallace originally submitted was 250 pages longer.
Not exactly child’s play. An English professor named Kevin Griffith and his son Sebastian have created a Lego version of Infinite Jest, viewable at wwww.brickjest.com.