Mario is the middle child of the Incandenza family and the only Incandenza son (and E.T.A. student) who does not play a sport. He is possibly actually the son of Charles, whom Mario believes is his uncle. Born prematurely, he has severe physical and mental disabilities. Like James, he makes films, and much of his work bears the mark of James’s style. Mario is the most moral and kind person in the novel. However, despite his kindness, people often only “tolerate” him rather than embracing his company. He cares deeply about others and offers insightful advice, particularly to Hal, with whom he shares a room at E.T.A. He is extremely close to Avril; both Orin and Hal think that Mario is her favorite child.
Mario Incandenza Character Timeline in Infinite Jest
The timeline below shows where the character Mario Incandenza appears in Infinite Jest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...the loop. He sits staring at it, his dinner untouched, having peed his pants. Meanwhile, Mario is tasked with filming E.T.A. students playing tennis, so they can visualize their mistakes and... (full context)
...match, but then realize you actually need to poop. It’s almost time for dinner. Sometimes, Mario is allowed to ring the triangle that signals mealtimes. Hal tries to calculate if there’s... (full context)
...a week Hal is allowed to eat with her (as well as Uncle Charles and Mario). For dessert, she serves “high-protein-gelatin squares” which are like “Jell-O on steroids.” The dinner always... (full context)
...long endnote here describes Hal on the same day, 11/7/Y.D.A.U., looking through a box of Mario’s old letters and snapshots. It mentions that Avril’s honors thesis at McGill was about the... (full context)
8 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment Interdependence Day Gaudeamus Igitur. Mario’s first finished and “halfway-coherent” film was of a finger puppet show, and it was such... (full context)
...called Johnny Gentle who became President of the U.S., and it mixes historical facts with Mario’s own inventions. The O.N.A.N. era is introduced with President Gentle telling the Mexican President and... (full context)
...conversation Clipperton shot himself in the head, killing himself for real in front of James, Mario, and Lyle. At Clipperton’s funeral in Indiana Mario still did not stop smiling, even as... (full context)
...Hal has a recurring 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... (full context)
...conundrums currently affecting the academy. In passing it is then hinted that Charles is actually Mario’s father. At E.T.A., training times are split by gender and staggered, and the best players... (full context)