The Depressed Person

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Back to David Foster Wallace or Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.


"The Depressed Person" is a third-person telling of the problems and internal processes that come with clinical Depression. One of the major themes is an inability to communicate the massive internal pain, which failure only makes the pain more difficult to handle and survive in the face of. The Depressed Person tries in many ways to connect with other people and keep from being totally selfish about her need for sympathy and empathy.




The voice in this story is intentionally annoying and repetitive. Ideas and phrases are brought up again and again, the effect of which is to impose on the reader a frustration similar to that of being Depressed and unable to communicate. Many readers, including critic Michiko Kakutani, simply react negatively to this frustration. Other readers react negatively to the style and voice, but also understand frustration as part of the story's point, and in the process experience something like empathy.


Connection to Other Works

Some characters from DFW's other work resemble or relate to this story.