David Foster Wallace’s “Good People,” is a very touching, powerful story about a young, Christian couple facing an extremely difficult decision and the moral and religious consequences that may result. As the story begins, we are allowed into the head of Lane Dean, a college student, as he sits on a park bench with his girlfriend, Sheri. Lane and Sheri find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy, which causes them to battle with several moral and religious problems. Both of them are serious Christians who have built their moral beliefs upon God and their religious childhood. Sheri who was shattered and torn schedules an abortion, which weighs on Lane deeply. The genera is short story with a subgenera of fiction.
The protagonists of this short story are Lane A. Dean Jr., and Sheri Fisher as they are considered leading characters because the way the story is told is based on their actions on events, emotions and way of thinking. Her mother on another hand mentioned few times in the story is a minor character. The story is told by a third person narrator who talked about two junior college students mentioned above, Lane and Sheri, where the girlfriend schedules an abortion appointment but she is hesitant about it. The whole story happens in a picnic table in a park where silence was all around having second thoughts about the abortion process. They start questioning many aspects of their lives, commitment to their relationship, their feelings toward each other and also how faithful they are to their religion.
It is difficult and complicated to define a good and a bad person. We all have different opinions on what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do. People have their own traditions of personal unwritten rules, by that I mean their ethics which they live by. However sometimes the person himself does not know whether what goes through their mind is ethical or wrong because he/she had never dealt with the situation before. In the short story “Good People”, we get to see what goes through a boys mind when he has an ethical tight spot. Lane focuses on the tree when he tries not to look at Sheri.
“Lane was very still and immobile and looking past the bank at the downed tree in the shallows and its ball of exposed roots going all direction and the tree’s cloud of branches all half in the water”
The downed tree symbolizes a lot of things like new growth, stages of life and ageing. No matter what Lane and Sheri choses to do, what they are going through is a life-changing thing and they are going to develop and grow by it. Lane kept looking at the downed tree have something to do with the fact that he wants Sheri to have the abortion but it also symbolizes that Lane used to be tied to Sheri and God but now he doubts his love to Sheri and his faith to God. Praying is something mentioned many times in this short story where both Lane and Sheri are strong believers and all the way through the story we hear about how they pray together. It seems like they think that it is the only way to solve their problems.