“Mayfly as a Lacanian Trope in David Foster Wallace’s ‘Everything Is Green’”

In “Everything Is Green,” David Foster Wallace uses Mayfly as a trope to depict Mitch’s cognitive shift from demand to desire, two stages delineated in Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory. As a trope, Mayfly initiates Mitch’s revelation that his wants can only be fulfilled through his own desire, not through demands upon Mayfly that she is incapable of satisfying. Wallace takes advantage of signification—particularly concerning the color “green” and Mayfly’s connection to mayflies—to promote Mitch’s psychic change. Wallace also depends upon Mitch’s struggle to articulate his ideas accurately to demonstrate the inherent complexity of this change.

Author: David McCracken