Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

by

David Foster Wallace

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Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette Character Analysis

According to her friend Molly Notkin, Joelle was born as Lucille Duquette in Kentucky. Extremely, even terrifyingly beautiful, Orin’s nickname for Joelle is P.G.O.A.T. (Prettiest Girl Of All Time). Joelle was close with her father, whom she called “My Own Personal Daddy,” until she reached adolescence, when he began treating her like a child and eventually admitted that he was sexually attracted to her. According to Molly, after hearing this revelation Joelle’s mother through acid at her father but missed and hit Joelle, disfiguring her. It is also possible that Joelle makes up this story as an excuse to join U.H.I.D. and wear a face veil, so people are no longer put off by her intense beauty. She wears the veil for the entirety of the novel, so the truth is left unclear. Joelle and Orin have a relationship that ends before most of the action in the book takes place. Joelle had also been enrolled in the Film Studies PhD program at M.I.T., but dropped out. A crack cocaine addict, Joelle attempts to commit suicide in Molly’s bathroom but fails; afterward she ends up in Ennet House, where she develops feelings for Don Gately. Joelle hosts a popular show on WYYY under the name Madame Psychosis. Mario in particular is a fan of her show and upset when she disappears from the air.

Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette Quotes in Infinite Jest

The Infinite Jest quotes below are all either spoken by Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette or refer to Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of Infinite Jest published in 1996.
Chapter 69 Quotes

After so long not caring, and then now the caring crashes back in and turns so easily into obsessive worry, in sobriety. A few days before the debacle in which Don Gately got hurt, Joelle had begun to worry obsessively about her teeth. Smoking 'base cocaine eats teeth, corrodes teeth, attacks the enamel directly.

Related Symbols: Substances
Page Number: 723
Explanation and Analysis:

Was amateurish the right word? More like the work of a brilliant optician and technician who was an amateur at any kind of real communication. Technically gorgeous, the work, with lighting and angles planned out to the frame. But oddly hollow, empty, no sense of dramatic towardness - no narrative movement toward a real story; no emotional movement toward an audience.

Related Symbols: The Entertainment
Page Number: 740
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Infinite Jest LitChart as a printable PDF.
Infinite Jest PDF

Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette Character Timeline in Infinite Jest

The timeline below shows where the character Joelle Van Dyne / Madame Psychosis / Lucille Duquette appears in Infinite Jest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 29
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...“the single grimmest thing ever conceived in a tube.” Boston drug users have nicknamed it Madame Psychosis after a “cult radio personality” on M.I.T.’s student-run station, WYYY. Mario is a devout listener.... (full context)
Chapter 32
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Late October Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. The show before Madame Psychosis ’s on WYYY is called “Those Were the Legends That Formerly Were,” and features students... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...it in the dining room, Avril doesn’t stop him. Mario would love to talk to Madame Psychosis , but would also be too scared to do it. (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Madame Psychosis has a somewhat negative worldview, and for a while only discussed depressing books on her... (full context)
Chapter 34
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
7 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Joelle van Dyne always feels depressed when parties come to an end. Molly Notkin is currently... (full context)
Chapter 35
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Walking through Boston, Joelle thinks about Québécois separatists and how pointless their actions seem, but this is in part... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
That morning, Joelle freebased cocaine “for the last time” and threw away all her paraphernalia. She then picked... (full context)
Chapter 36
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...to deliver a critique of post-millennial Marxist Film-Cartridge Theory from the perspective of Marx himself. Joelle arrives wearing her face veil. At the party, several guests are dancing the Minimal Mambo,... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
...cheese being served, Heideggerian philosophy, the Great Concavity/Convexity, and the “cartridge-as-ecstatic-death rumor.” In Molly’s bedroom Joelle spots her own monograph (an endnote details that it is entitled Theory and Praxis in... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
In Molly’s bathroom, Joelle has to improvise after throwing away her paraphernalia. When her hands first start trembling with... (full context)
Chapter 37
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
...age of 13. Orin mentions that the journalist’s name is Helen. Orin asks about the P.G.O.A.T.—Joelle—and Hal explains that she hasn’t been around E.T.A. since she and Orin broke up. (full context)
Chapter 38
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...not bring themselves to talk to her. (It is hinted here that the girl is Joelle.) Orin wanted to switch to football to be closer to her, a decision that greatly... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...exceeded any talent he’d had for tennis. Then, during a Columbus Day Major Sport event, Joelle asked him to autograph a football for her father. By the end of Orin’s freshman... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
That year, Joelle spent Thanksgiving with Orin’s family and Orin spent Christmas with hers in Kentucky. On New... (full context)
Chapter 43
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...tobacco,” but now he doesn’t really miss it. Gately is now speaking with Erdedy and Joelle van Dyne. There are a handful of veiled people from U.H.I.D. there that night. Joelle... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Erdedy is attracted to Joelle, partly because of her gorgeous body but also because of her veil. Joelle says she... (full context)
Chapter 48
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
...dream in which his teeth crumble and splinter inside his mouth. Mario is distressed by Madame Psychosis ’s unexplained absence from WYYY. For a while a grad student calling herself Miss Diagnosis... (full context)
Chapter 50
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...Gately’s boiled hot dogs by claiming that Red Dye #4 gives her “cluster migraines,” while Joelle claims to be a vegetarian. Shockingly, Pat tells Gately to pick up eggs and peppers... (full context)
Chapter 54
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...of the Depend Adult Undergarment Front Office, Ennet House D.A.R.H., Enfield MA. Someone is telling Joelle a story about watching a woman shoot a man in a bar in Lowell. The... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Joelle points out that Don has a tendency to hide behind his own (metaphorical) mask. Don... (full context)
Chapter 58
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...been slightly jealous of Mario for this. Mario is still distressed about the disappearance of Madame Psychosis and also worried about Hal, whose feelings he used to be able to intuit but... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Suddenly, Mario hears the sound of a recording of Madame Psychosis ’s radio show coming through an open window. He has noticed that more and more... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...shot in the shoulder. The fight continues with Nell Gunther and Green joining in as Joelle shouts something inaudible from her window. More residents get involved and Joelle climbs out onto... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Joelle keeps climbing and ends up dangling and kicking her legs, while other residents keep fighting... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...guard strolls by and Gately forces Erdedy to go and distract him. Meanwhile, Gately tells Joelle that he’s realized she’s Madame Psychosis, and that he was sure he knew her from... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
...engineer has been taking endless calls from worried listeners, neither confirming nor denying rumors that Madame Psychosis has committed suicide, been institutionalized, or undergone a pilgrimage. In reality, all the engineer knows... (full context)
Chapter 62
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...He adds that he doesn’t know much about James’ suicide. He knows that James cast Joelle in a “radical new type of filmed entertainment that supposedly was driving him to a... (full context)
Chapter 66
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...this order of nuns could easily be an analogy for AA. Meanwhile, to her surprise, Joelle is beginning to find her trips to the NA-spinoff Cocaine Anonymous useful. She has developed... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...girl’s hungry face. The man has a powerful storytelling style, and for the first time Joelle feels committed to staying clean no matter what happens. The man says that he still... (full context)
Chapter 67
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
...locating James’s master copy of the Entertainment. They could track down James’s family members and Joelle and torture them if necessary, or just search for the master copy directly themselves. They... (full context)
Chapter 69
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
14 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Joelle suddenly starts worrying about her teeth and the terrible effect that years of freebasing cocaine... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
...A.F.R. now have the entire Incandenza family under surveillance, and are close to tracking down Joelle, having discovered that she was Madame Psychosis. They have kidnapped and tortured the WYYY engineer,... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Joelle has rediscovered a love for cleaning that has nothing to do with getting high. When... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Orin had predicted that James would want to cast Joelle in his films because of her extraordinary beauty, and it was painfully clear that he... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
After they became close, James confessed to Joelle that he didn’t know how to talk to Orin or Hal. Orin used to cry... (full context)
Chapter 70
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...have another” in his sleep. Mario says he’s found someone who has old tapes of Madame Psychosis ’s show, but he needs Hal’s help in asking if it’s okay to listen to... (full context)
Chapter 71
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...the Entertainment—whose title, “Infinite Jest (V) or (VI)”, is mentioned for the first time here—stars Madame Psychosis as a maternal version of Death. Her face is obscured, and she is naked and... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Molly also says that Madame Psychosis ’s real mother killed herself using a garbage disposal on Thanksgiving. The Entertainment was made... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Molly says that Madame Psychosis was able to get James to stop drinking, and that he’d been sober for months... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Molly explains that Madame Psychosis had always been very close to her own father, a chemist from Kentucky. When Madame... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Madame Psychosis ’s mother suddenly freaked out, announcing that she and her husband had not once had... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Someone, possibly Joelle, is sponging Gately’s face with a cold washcloth. Later Pat comes in and assures him... (full context)
Chapter 72
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Marathe and the other A.F.R. members cannot track down Joelle. They decide it won’t be possible to commit a “direct assault” on E.T.A., and thus... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
...still unbearably sad that this incident happened so soon before her suicide. The dream about Joelle takes place in Mrs. Waite’s kitchen, and Mrs. Waite and Joelle are somehow one figure... (full context)
Chapter 73
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
In Gately’s hospital room, in what he now realizes is an “apparently real nondream,” Joelle holds two brownies and tries to make him laugh. She tells him she can’t stay... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...extreme, hasty desire for attachment, and fantasizes about a lifetime of love and commitment with Joelle. In Boston AA, seducing new members is seriously frowned upon because newcomers are so vulnerable.... (full context)
Chapter 74
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Gately is half asleep again. Joelle is gone, and a nurse comes in and gives Gately a notebook and pen he... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Gately suddenly realizes that he hallucinated Joelle’s whole visit and the conversation about her family. Years ago, a severely alcoholic young woman... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Meanwhile, outside the hospital a “grotesquely huge woman” (Steeply) tells Joelle that she is in terrible danger, but Joelle is not surprised by this information. (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Joelle responds to questions (presumably posed by Hugh/Helen Steeply) about the Entertainment. She describes the only... (full context)
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...in his late 30s, when he and Avril met, and also that James’s fixation with Joelle was totally non-sexual. Hal suddenly has a “lucid vision” of Avril having sex with John... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Joelle plans to ask Pat to put her in quarantine with Clenette and Yolanda in order... (full context)