Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

by

David Foster Wallace

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Infinite Jest: Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
3 November — Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. E.T.A. student Jim Troeltsch is ill again. The illness came on extremely quickly, and Jim can tell that it is a severe case of rhinovirus. The narrative switches to first person, and the narrator describes a dream all E.T.A. students have in which they realize that there is some evil presence in their dorm room. They see a face in the floor and realize that the face is evil. When they wake up and don’t see the face in the floor, they cannot be completely sure that it is not actually there.
By this point in the novel, illness—and especially congestion of the sinuses—has cropped up again and again. While there is no clear meaning linking all these incidences of illness yet, there does seem to be a connection between congestion and the difficulty in communicating experienced by Hal. This passage also suggests that there is something supernatural going on at E.T.A.
Themes
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon