The Soul Is Not a Smithy Summary
David Foster Wallace

Everything you need to understand or teach The Soul Is Not a Smithy by David Foster Wallace.

  • The Soul Is Not a Smithy Summary & Study Guide

The Soul Is Not a Smithy Overview

“The Soul is Not a Smithy” is a short story by David Foster Wallace. It was first published in AGNI in 2003 and was republished in the collection Oblivion: Stories in 2004. In the story, an unnamed narrator recounts a specific day from when he was in the fourth grade. The substitute teacher, Mr. Johnson, began to suffer a psychotic break, but the narrator did not notice because he was distracted by an imagined story he was composing in his head. The story explores themes of history, social deviation, horror, and storytelling.

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