Knowledge and Understanding in class essay “A supposedly fun thing i’ll never do again”

David Foster Wallace is a rather reflective type of author. Most of his pieces are stories about his own life. His book “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” contains many stories about his life and experiences. “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley” is a story about his childhood and how geometry affected his life. “Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness” is a story about his thoughts on the nature of tennis and professional athletics. In both of these stories, he talks about how life can be unpredictable and how it can affect an individual’s life.

David Foster Wallace is a creative writer, and in his essays and short stories, he uses examples from his own life to help illustrate a thought. In the first story, Wallace talks about how geometry affected his life, especially when it came to tennis, and how he was a late bloomer compared to others. He didn’t hit puberty until mostly everyone else did. “Antitoi’s tennis continued to improve after that, but mine didn’t” (Wallace 20). Life was “unfair” to him, and because others hit puberty before him, he lost most, if not all, of his tennis matches afterwards. He used to be the best, because he used geometry to help him win, but now strength has taken over and dominated basic intelligence. The story is about change is inevitable and how it can affect different individuals. The second story is about Wallace writing a biography about a tennis player who became famous. The tennis player was a bit greedy, and expected a lot of fame. After this tennis player got famous, what he expected was not enough for him. He was famous, but not famous enough to earn a lot of money and not famous enough to be universally known. “Michael Joyce is, in other words, a complete man (though in a grotesquely limited way). But he wants more” (Wallace 254). The story is about how not everything will turn out as expected. Both these stories are about how life does not turn out for the better of both of them. They expected something great, but did not get what they wanted. Wallace portrayed this idea through both of these stories.

David Foster Wallace’s writings portray a sense of expectancy, how some people who expect a certain outcome may receive another. This idea is portrayed in both “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley” and “Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness”. In both stories, life wasn’t too kind to them, and people may only make the best of what life gives them. Unfortunately for both of the main characters in the story, things didn’t turn out as well as they hoped. Senses of change, disappointment, and wanting something are present in both stories. David Foster Wallace portrays this idea by writing about personal experiences through his stories.

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