Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Setting

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Swimming Pools

In dramatically different contexts, the second and third stories in the collection ("Death Is Not The End" and "Forever Overhead") both take place in and next to swimming pools. In "Forever Overhead," the pool is a public pool in Tucson, Arizona, and in "Death Is Not The End," the pool is a quiet backyard pool, presumably also in America. Wallace uses the pool as shorthand for the comfort, cushiness, and general lack of conflict in contemporary American suburbia. The serene nature of the pool allows more focus to be placed on the inner conflict that the characters experience.

A later story, "Church Not Made With Hands," shows that the swimming pool can be dangerous as well. A young girl, Esther, suffers brain injuries when she is accidentally stuck in the underwater drain in her grandparents' swimming pool.

The Hospital Room / Deathbed

There are multiple times when a...

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This section contains 470 words
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