Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

by

David Foster Wallace

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John Wayne Character Analysis

John Wayne is a Quebecois E.T.A. student who is the best player at the school. He lost his Canadian citizenship through enrolling at the school. Wayne has a sexual relationship with Avril. Wayne’s father was the only person in the history of “La Culte du Prochain Train” who failed to jump onto the train tracks. It is implied that Wayne is a plant placed at E.T.A. by the A.F.R.; however, he eventually watches guard when Hal and Gately dig up James’s head, which implies that he betrayed the A.F.R. (or was possibly acting on behalf of the A.F.R. and forcing Hal to dig up his father). Hal indicates that something happened to him after this, and it is possible that the A.F.R. killed him.
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John Wayne Character Timeline in Infinite Jest

The timeline below shows where the character John Wayne appears in Infinite Jest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...in time to play in the semi-final match the next day. He thinks about John Wayne, who certainly “would have” won the WhataBurger tournament. Hal also thinks about Wayne standing guard... (full context)
Chapter 38
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
...what it is. Last year E.T.A. lost, but this was before the school gained John Wayne, who is from Quebec and was the top ranked player in Canada at the age... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...#43 in the U.S.T.A., has undergone a “quantumish competitive plateau-hop” and is now ranked #4. Wayne begins to play; his game has “a kind of automatic beauty.” He falls backwards at... (full context)
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
...receive corporate sponsorship in the form of gifts (they are not permitted to receive money). Wayne is sponsored by Dunlop and Adidas, and Hal by Dunlop, Nike, and Air Stirrup (a... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...“both care a great deal about it and also not care about it at all.” Wayne and Hal’s games are both at the point of “carnage.” All the adults in the... (full context)
Chapter 56
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...office and the Headmaster’s Office are still on. Pemulis enters Avril’s office and finds John Wayne in there with Avril. Wayne is wearing a football helmet and little else, and Avril... (full context)
Chapter 57
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...deformed infant who was a refugee from the Great Concavity. At E.T.A., Hal and John Wayne have a brief, silent encounter. (full context)
Chapter 62
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...and pressures of professional tennis. DeLint interrupts to say that E.T.A.’s best player is John Wayne, and that Helen can see him play tomorrow. Helen casually mentions James’s filmmaking, but no... (full context)
Chapter 71
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...Nwangi, and Watson sitting in deLint’s office. DeLint asks Pemulis to explain what happened with Wayne, and Pemulis begins speaking, but soon realizes that the truth has basically already come out.... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...he needs to speak about with Avril. DeLint tells Pemulis that E.T.A. believes he dosed Wayne with stimulants against his knowledge. Pemulis will be allowed to finish the term for credit... (full context)
Chapter 74
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...was totally non-sexual. Hal suddenly has a “lucid vision” of Avril having sex with John Wayne. He is aware of their ongoing sexual relationship, which began shortly after Wayne arrived at... (full context)