A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments - Pages 1-41 Summary & Analysis

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Pages 1-41 Summary and Analysis

The first essay in the collection describes Wallace's childhood tennis playing in Illinois.

Wallace begins his first essay, "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," by explaining that he studied mathematics in college because the subject reminded him of the straight lines of Midwestern geography. This leads Wallace into a discussion of his briefly successful junior tennis career. Wallace attributes his success in the game to his ability to use the small imperfections in Illinois' tennis courts as well as the strong Illinois wind to his advantage even though he was one of the physically smallest and slowest players. Wallace writes that in Philo, Illinois, the wind became like silence to him, and it took him months to adjust to the much quieter wind of New England. Central Illinois appears to be laid out by design, which Wallace compares to a...

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This section contains 933 words
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