"Good People"

1183 words 5 pages
Analysis of ”Good People” by David Foster Wallace, 2007
The short story is set at a park by a lake. “They were up on a picnic table at that park by the lake, by the edge of the lake, with part of a downed tree in the shallows half hidden by the bank.”1 The downed tree sets the mood to be sad and dark. We also learn that the main characters Lane A. Dean, Jr. and his girlfriend Sheri Fisher are sitting very still on the picnic table2, which tells us that the atmosphere is quite intense. It does not say for how long they sit by the lake, but it says that the right sides of their faces get shaded so it can be assumed that they sit there for a while.3
One of the main characters is Lane A. Dean, Jr., who is 19 years old and studies
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The writer is presenting an interpretation of the characters’ speech and not their exact words. There is a focus on actions so there is a lot of verbs and also adjectives, especially in the beginning.16 There are some difficult words, but all in all the vocabulary is standard level.
The main conflict is the conflict between Lane and Sheri. First of all both of them sit very still and we hear a lot of Lane’s thoughts – as if they are not talking to each other. “It was of two great and terrible armies within himself, opposed and facing each other, silent. There would be battle but no victor.”17 The battle inside of Lane could represent the battle between Sheri and him. You might say that they have a problem when it comes to communicating with each other. The conflict is that Lane does not love Sheri. “(…) at the decision together did not ever include it – the word – for had he once said it, avowed that he did love her, loved Sheri Fisher, then it all would have been transformed.”18 “But neither did he ever open up and tell her straight out he did not love her.”19 Lane expresses that if he had loved her or said to her that he loved her, they would not have this conflict. The conflict is that Lane is not honest with Sheri about his true feelings and this leads to the unhappy and tense


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