Infinite Jest Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Hal Incandenza.

Hal Incandenza is an 18-year-old student at a tennis academy. At the beginning of the novel, he is being interviewed by deans and a tennis coach to get into the university. He appears to have trouble with his verbal skills and though he is an amazing tennis player, his communication skills make the administrators fearful.

2. Who is Ken Erdedy?

Ken Erdedy is addicted to marijuana. He is an addict who keeps trying to quit but always finds a new dealer. In Chapter 2, he is waiting for a woman to bring him marijuana. He tends to find female drug dealers, sleep with them, and then cut them out of his life forever in an attempt to quit his addiction.

3. How do the deans react to Hal's communication skills?

The deans of the tennis academy are disturbed by Hal's communication skills and the way he begins to speak gibberish during the interview. They are shocked that Charlie would attempt to have Hal admitted to the school. They appear to lean toward not admitting Hal to the college despite his outstanding tennis skills.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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