Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest


David Foster Wallace

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Infinite Jest: Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

From Internal Interlace-System E-Mail Memo CAH-NNE22-3575634-22, Claims Adjustment Headquarters, State Farm Insurance Companies, Inc., Bloomington IL 26 June Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland. An employee of State Farm Insurance forwards an email to other employees with a message saying “guys, get a load,” adding that the person who wrote the email was found to have a blood alcohol content of .3+, which exempts State Farm from liability. The email is from a bricklayer named Dwayne R. Glynn. He explains how he fractured his skull, collar bone, and both ankles through an accident involving a DIY pulley system at work. There are multiple stages to the accident, some of which are cut off as only the first page of the email has been forwarded.
This strange digression, while having no direct narrative connection to the rest of the novel, nonetheless touches on the same themes: addiction, responsibility and agency, and corporate dystopia. The cruelty of the State Farm employees making fun of Glynn’s claim strengthens the novel’s implication that there is something distinctly evil about corporate culture.
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon