Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest


David Foster Wallace

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Infinite Jest: Chapter 64 Summary & Analysis

11 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Something went very wrong in Hal’s game against Stice, and now Stice’s name is 2nd on the rankings, where Hal’s used to be. Hal is feeling down, and watches many of James’s cartridges in a row. One called Wave Bye-Bye to the Bureaucrat features a bureaucrat who is an excellent worker but struggles to get up in the morning and thus is always late. His boss threatens that if he is late one more time he will be fired. A dramatic scene ensues in which the bureaucrat desperately tries to make it to work in time and accidentally bumps into a small child, who asks if the bureaucrat is Jesus. It is Mario’s favorite of James’s films.
The film Hal watches recalls the sparse, surreal stories of Franz Kafka, which often focus on the theme of bureaucracy. In James’s film, the bureaucrat is successful because he is willing to work hard and submit himself totally to the institution for which he works. Yet he is guilty of a kind of self-sabotage, as his job is threatened by his own inability to be on time. The film thus touches on the novel’s broader themes of free will, self-destruction, and submission.
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