David Foster Wallace’s Speech

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After reading and analyzing the commencement speech that David Foster Wallace gave left me flabbergasted. I found Wallace’s speech as incredibly intriguing and insightful, presenting a different perspective on us humans’ way of thinking in every day to day life. His speech gave me a better understanding on my intellectual thoughts and the way I analyze certain situations. David Wallace made some very important points in his speech that will have you in awe and contradicting your own way of thinking. Going further he establishes that us humans have a natural default way of thinking. The default setting is us humans naturally believing that we are the absolute center of the universe. Meaning that the world happens around us, for us, and were always the center of it because it is our life. Walter goes in to stating that we have a “choice” of what to think, and the different kind of choosing along with understanding how to think in which all corresponds to the human’s unconscious mind.

Further into the speech Wallace go into depths on how it’s important to learn how to control how and what we think about. Wallace showed a concerned on how thinking can be negative, turn into worship, or harmful to ourselves in a way. Wallace describes people who can control the way they think as “well-adjusted” meaning avoiding confirmation bias and being open minded. In order to avoid this “natural default setting” way of thinking Wallace suggests choosing how to think about certain situations, being considerate to others, awareness, dicipline, having attenting, and implying effort. In other words I believe he is saying We need to think in an unsual way, basically forcing ourselves to think out of the ordinary. I believe We need to be considerate, to think of others before ourselves sometimes. We need to not worship ourselves to the point we think were better than others or so.

Chnages can sometimes be for the better and according to Wallace changing the way we think will actually benefit our lives. I totally agree with this! Personally, I belive changing the way we think is basically giving us ability to learn even more and expand our knowledge and mind. Wallace taught me from his sppech that there is always different perspectives to any one event. Wallace then explains how we need to learn how to change how we think so that we don’t just see things as they are on the surface, but try to see it from a different perspective. By being able to view things from different points of view it can stop us from living an unhappy life and becoming a slave to our head and mind.

There are always different perspectives to any one eventour mind has the power to do anything and everything. If we experience a negative situation and look at the surface of what is happening and only see the negatives then we will live dull, unhappy lives. But, if we change our thinking and try to see things from different perspectives, like the examples Wallace provided of the person speeding through traffic going to take their sick child to the hospital, then we will be able to live a happier and less stressed lifestyle. Sometimes we get too caught up with the routines of life (waking up, going to school, coming home, doing homework, sleep, repeat, etc) that we forget about what is really important.


Cite this paper

David Foster Wallace’s Speech. (2021, Oct 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/david-foster-wallaces-speech/



What is the main idea of Wallace's speech?
The main idea of Wallace's speech is that we must work together to solve the problems facing our nation. He believes that we can do this by coming together and working towards a common goal.
What is water a metaphor for in This is Water?
Water is a metaphor for life. It is essential for life, it is everywhere, and it can be both calm and violent.
When did David Foster Wallace give This is Water speech?
The This is Water speech was given by David Foster Wallace in 2005.
When the author says I am not the wise old fish What does he imply?
I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about .
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