Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

by

David Foster Wallace

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O.N.A.N. Term Analysis

Organization of North American Nations, a “supernation” comprised of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Founded by President Johnny Gentle, O.N.A.N. was masterminded by Rodney Tine, chief of the O.U.S, who saw it as an opportunity for the U.S. to give the highly toxic Great Concavity to Canada as a “gift.” For this reason, O.N.A.N. is resented by Canadians and especially Quebecois secessionists like the A.F.R. “Onanism” is also a euphemistic Biblical term for masturbation, in a humorous nod to the pleasure- and entertainment-obsessed culture of Wallace’s near-future North America.
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O.N.A.N. Term Timeline in Infinite Jest

The timeline below shows where the term O.N.A.N. appears in Infinite Jest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...it inside DuPlessis’ mouth. DuPlessis is in fact “the right-hand man to the most infamous anti-O.N.A.N. organizer north of the Great Concavity.” He has moved to Boston to act as a... (full context)
Chapter 16
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...Assassins des Fauteils Rollents (Wheelchair Assassins), which is “pretty much Québec’s most dreaded and rapacious anti-O.N.A.N. terrorist cell.”)  (full context)
Chapter 26
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Alphabetic Tally of Séparatisteur / Anti-O.N.A.N. Groups whose Opposition to Interdependence / Reconfiguration is Designated by R.C.M.P. and U.S.O.U.S. as Terrorist... (full context)
Chapter 40
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...is puzzled by Quebecois Separatism, which has grown in intensity ever since the establishment of O.N.A.N. (full context)
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...example in the U.S. would be Canadian separatist materials, although these aren’t officially banned by O.N.A.N.) (full context)
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...Hal says he thinks that Quebecois separatists hate Anglophone Canada far more than they hate O.N.A.N. Hal asks for more information about Helen, and when Orin gets cagey, Hal brings up... (full context)
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...that all Canadians resent the Great Concavity, Quebecois separatists don’t use this to support their anti-O.N.A.N. mission. Pemulis is getting more and more impatient and begins to gesture to someone outside... (full context)
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...insists that what the separatists really want is for Québec to secede, and that their anti-O.N.A.N. position is “not what it appears.” He is searching under his desk for his shoe.... (full context)
Chapter 45
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...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 Canadian Prime Minister: “We... (full context)
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...side with no indication of which ones are real. They announce the emergence of the O.N.A.N. pact, the enormous waste problem the U.S. was facing at the time, and the decision... (full context)
Chapter 46
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
...official rank as none of his victories were deemed legitimate. However, after the founding of O.N.A.N. and the establishment of an O.N.A.N. ranking system, a systems analyst who was converting the... (full context)
Chapter 55
Talent, Precociousness, and Fame Theme Icon
Entertainment Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...as “the samizdat.” Technically, the threat it poses falls under the jurisdiction of the O.U.S.’s Anti-Anti-O.N.A.N. Activities’ Agency (which an endnote explains is O.U.S.’s “most elite and least specific division”). (full context)
Chapter 65
Addiction, Mental Illness, and Suicide Theme Icon
Reality as Corporate Dystopia Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
...as decoys when the separatist threw acid in the face of the Canadian Minister of Inter-O.N.A.N. Trade. Now, Poor Tony considers stealing the purses of two women walking ahead of him.... (full context)