The Pale King Characters

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David Foster Wallace is arguably the central protagonist and definitively the central character in the novel. The meta-fictional presentation of Wallace as a character in a fictional novel adds a certain tendency to conflate the character with the author. This is compounded by the fact that the novel's principal but not only narrator also is named David Foster Wallace. Presumably the narrator and the protagonist are the selfsame individual. There is within the novel, however, yet another David Foster Wallace that arrives at the IRS Peoria REC on the same day as "the" David Foster Wallace and the two men are mistaken for each other, with the result that the protagonist is assumed to be a very advanced employee of long tenure while in fact he is a new hire with very limited knowledge.

Wallace gives much biographical background in the novel, growing up in a...

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This section contains 2,405 words
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