David Foster Wallace Summary

262 WordsOct 1, 20132 Pages
Summary of “David Foster Wallace on Life and Work” In David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech given to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College, he first points out to his audience that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about (para 2). Wallace continues throughout his speech sharing this idea of how sometimes our self-centeredness gets in the way of what is really important. For instance, we only see what we want to see. Wallace then carries on explaining to his audience that for most of us, it’s not really our fault, but refers to it as our “default setting.” Wallace elaborates on this topic for a while with examples from his personal experiences putting things into a better perspective. One of the most important arguments Wallace makes in his speech is when he’s explaining the liberal-arts cliché, “teaching you how to think.” “Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience (Wallace para 5).” Wallace uses many examples in his commentary to demonstrate that the truly important kind of freedom is about us honestly caring for other people around us. It’s about becoming more aware, disciplined, selfless, and making sacrifices. Wallace makes it very clear that the way we live and the way we look at our everyday situations are always our choices of

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