The Broom of the System Summary
David Foster Wallace

Everything you need to understand or teach The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace.

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The Broom of the System Summary

As is typical with Wallace's work, The Broom of the System is at once immensely complex, yet extremely simple, though never simplistic. The novel focuses principally on one Lenore Beadsman and her efforts to understand herself in relation to the external world, not experientially but rather existennally. Although from a wealthy family and well-educated herself, Lenore chooses to work as a minimum-wage, receptiondesk phone operator for "Frequent and Vigorous Publishing, Inc." (or "F and V" for short, which potentially translates into "Effin Vee" when read quickly—just one of many puns and gags), operated by Rick Vigorous, who also happens to be Lenore's partner. The primary theme of the novel is that of communication or, more precisely, severed communication. Early on in the novel, F and V's switchboard suffers a malfunction of sorts, or "line trouble," making it impossible for the company's phone operators to receive appropriate...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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