As I was doing the reading for tomorrow’s class, I couldn’t help but notice how Wallace capitalizes references to addiction and the sources of addiction.
To name a few moments, Orin refers to his sexual exploits as “Subjects,” with a capital “S,” when he’s on the phone with Hal. During the sequences with Joelle, the narrator refers to cocaine as “Material” and the act of getting high as “Too Much Fun.” In the section that takes place at Ennet House, addiction is referred to as the “Disease” and “The Spider.”
By capitalizing these words (among the many others I didn’t mention), it’s like Wallace gives these inanimate objects and ideas as much stake in the story as human people. Addiction and sources of addiction play as big of a role in progressing the novel as Hal, Joelle, and the rest of the human characters, and Wallace is acknowledging this by capitalizing these words, as if these are their names.
What do you think?