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Date

5-18-2020

Description

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is a novel characterized by its portrayal of the interaction between human and nonhuman objects. Upon a posthuman ecocritical analysis of these relations, Infinite Jest becomes not only a testament to the power of nonhuman objects, but also to the danger anthropocentric thinking presents to humanity itself. This danger is present in the novel through its presentation of the ecocritical concept of the Anthropocene, an era in which human underestimation of the power of nonhuman objects has come to fruition. The dystopian setting of Enfield, MA, Wallace shows the massive damage anthropocentric thinking brings upon not only nonhuman but also human entities, as the human-made Entertainment and Great Concavity paradoxically ravage humanity. The rigid dichotomy presented between the concepts of human and nonhuman is bred by anthropocentric thinking, which is inherently established upon harmful humanist hierarchies which posthumanism and ecocriticism work to eradicate. Throughout the novel, Wallace presents a number of dichotomies, including those between nature and culture, human and nonhuman, and subjects and objects, which expose the fallacy in hierarchical thinking. It is not the presentation of these dichotomies which exposes the thematic crux of Infinite Jest, but the blurring of the borders established between the concepts that allow a truly posthuman statement to be made about human subjectivity and the effect this concept has upon the world around us. Through a posthuman ecocritical analysis, Infinite Jest becomes a prophetic warning of the near future our anthropocentric thinking could lead us to.

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May 18th, 12:00 AM

Navigating a Posthuman World in Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is a novel characterized by its portrayal of the interaction between human and nonhuman objects. Upon a posthuman ecocritical analysis of these relations, Infinite Jest becomes not only a testament to the power of nonhuman objects, but also to the danger anthropocentric thinking presents to humanity itself. This danger is present in the novel through its presentation of the ecocritical concept of the Anthropocene, an era in which human underestimation of the power of nonhuman objects has come to fruition. The dystopian setting of Enfield, MA, Wallace shows the massive damage anthropocentric thinking brings upon not only nonhuman but also human entities, as the human-made Entertainment and Great Concavity paradoxically ravage humanity. The rigid dichotomy presented between the concepts of human and nonhuman is bred by anthropocentric thinking, which is inherently established upon harmful humanist hierarchies which posthumanism and ecocriticism work to eradicate. Throughout the novel, Wallace presents a number of dichotomies, including those between nature and culture, human and nonhuman, and subjects and objects, which expose the fallacy in hierarchical thinking. It is not the presentation of these dichotomies which exposes the thematic crux of Infinite Jest, but the blurring of the borders established between the concepts that allow a truly posthuman statement to be made about human subjectivity and the effect this concept has upon the world around us. Through a posthuman ecocritical analysis, Infinite Jest becomes a prophetic warning of the near future our anthropocentric thinking could lead us to.