The fear of death is a major theme in Don Delillo's novel "white noise". You would think death as being a strong fear and a predominant focus of the characters in the novel. However Delillo uses death as an item for comparison, just to show the depravation value for the fear of death, in contrast to the many manifestations of the "white noise"…
That is an ominous concern for Jack about his relationship with his loved wife Babette. The description the author uses for Jack's thought process on this question tells us how deeply he is in love with Babette. This love being so strong that it flares a selfish desire to rather have himself die first, rather than the other. His desire to be with and love Babbette is greater than the fear of his own death.
"This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys. It ends a sentence, prolongs a glance between us. I wonder if the thought itself is part of the nature of physical love, or a reverse Darwinism that awards sadness and fear to the survivor."2
This thought is a selfish death desire, because Jack would rather Babbette to be left alone rather than himself if she were to die first. Of course Delillo makes certain the "white noise" plays its part and penetrates through everything by comparing the fleeting thought to missing car keys. At most times the characters are unconscious of the realities of life and death. But when inspected upon, uncomfortable consciousness of death develops like when you pay attention to the constant blinking of your own eye.
The hum of the "white noise" has an anesthetic effect on the thoughts of death which is made possible by its power over the truth. Power and authority can be seen in the noise by Chapter six. The authority of the "white noise" is held on the highest pedestal by Heinrich the genius fourteen year old.
"It's going to rain tonight."
"It's raining now," I said.
"The radio said tonight."3
The unquestioned power of the "white noise" can be seen again in chapter eight, as the character Steffie refuses to challenge its authority.
"We have to boil our water," Steffie said.
"It said on the radio."
"They're always saying boil your water," Babette said.4
Not all the characters are wholly blinded by the white noise as we can tell from the rationalization from Jack and Babette both.
"Just because it's on the radio doesn't meant we have to suspend beliefs in the evidence of our senses."5
The noise appears to take more control over the younger generations. The author described the difference in health and behaviors of people in the town broken down by age groups. One thing stimulated by the noise is the advertising of consumables in the supermarket. This is related to death in the obesity and other health complications over eating can cause. The family is aware that Babette purchases food from the supermarket only to never eat it. Even though she goes unconvinced of other aspects of the "white noise" just like Jack. In the area of purchasing groceries she is a knowing yet unhappily submissive to the authority of the noise, feeling guilty all through her relation ship with food.
"She feels guilty if she doesn't buy it, she feels guilty when she sees it in the fridge, she feels guilty when she throws it away."6
The supermarket in particular is a hot bed of "white noise" life. I must use the word "life" to describe the "white noise" because Delillo hinted at the noise being a ...
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(Don Delillos Novel White Noise Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
“Don Delillos Novel White Noise Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/miscellaneous/272235-don-delillos-novel-white-noise.
It is a family lost in a world of confusion and "white noise," and, especially, in the material things of modern consumerism. God and all spiritual hope have disappeared for all intents and purposes, replaced by a faith in the products of the consumerist culture.
The two stories are both unique and remarkable in their significance considering the age when these were written as well as the uniqueness and ingenuity of the subject matters and treatments of the same. Don DeLillo in his eighth novel White Noise exemplifies the work of postmodern literature.
This paper deems to analyze the novel the White Noise pointing out that there are significant implications brought about by the impact of consumerism, technology, the mass media and complex industrial and economic systems on humans’ ethics and relationship to the environment.
The tragic consequences of this awareness are vividly portrayed by Don DeLillo in his novel White Noise. The color ‘white’ is used here to symbolize the overpowering force of awareness of death. Jack and Babette, at the heart of their fears, brood over the most unpleasant (Bloom 2003, 209): “What if death is nothing but sound?
Without money, life is not that enjoyable. This is aptly expressed in Chapter 10 when he states that, “In the morning I walked to the bank. I went to the automated teller machine to check my balance. I inserted my card, entered my secret code, tapped out my request.” Coincidentally, the figure corresponded with the available funds in his bank account.
What Do The Sounds In White Noise Foreshadow?
A white noise is produced when an individual takes all the imaginable sounds that he can pay attention to and join them together. Don DeLillo’s book is an illustration of postmodern literary work. This book is presumed to be DeLillo’s most popular work and gave him the interest of a much superior audience.
The family, in DeLillo’s White Noise, has been alluded to as dysfunctional. The family strays away from the traditional family values. The onslaught of the media and the large amount of information readily available to all family members has dulled the senses of the family members.
Want to scare the authorities into submission Use a crowd. Want to make an impression Follow the crowd. Want to throw the fear of God into the minds of the people Instigate the crowd. Indeed, every situation, no matter how difficult or cumbersome, has a solution, if one only knows how to crack the whip in a crowd.
In White Noise, the author Don Delilo portrays the issue of unity and togetherness in the family as an epitome of social cohesion in as far as the aspect of nuclear family is concerned. However, Jack is somehow disappointed by the life he is leading though fascinated by the new technological advancement such as the use of automated teller machines which can dispense money from any place.