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White Noise Themes (Don DeLillo)

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Jacob Dziewa

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of White Noise Themes (Don DeLillo)

What is White Noise? White Noise
by
Don DeLillo
Death In the novel, the fear of death is presented through both Jack's conscious and subconscious. Death always seems to be looming overhead for Jack.

pg. 6- "I have trouble imagining death at that income level"
pg. 8- "...either to let us know the battery died or because the house was on fire."
pg. 15- "Who will die first?" (when watching Babette run up and down the stairs.)
pg. 18- "Shouldn't death...be a swan dive...leaving the surface undisturbed."
pg. 30- "Who will die first?" (when looking at photo albums)
pg. 41- "That stuff causes cancer in laboratory animals in case you didn't know."
pg. 73- "To break off from the crowd is to risk death as an individual..."

Conversations: Heinrich and the rain, Heinrich and Tommy Ray Foster, Plotting Jack seems to think that someone, or something is plotting against him. Plots make him uneasy and he becomes more aware of the white noise when plots are mentioned.

pg. 26- "All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots...We edge nearer death every time we plot."

pg. 48- [Dana Breedlove] liked to plot....She liked to get me involved in things."
Consumerism We all are aware that we consume relentless, but yet we do not try to break the cycle because it is comforting.

pg. 6- "Why do these possessions carry such sorrowful weight? There is a darkness attached to them, a foreboding."
pg. 14- "When times are bad, people feel compelled to overeat."
pg. 16- "[Television's] narcotic undertow and eerie disease brain-sucking power would be gradually reduced."
pg. 20- ...the mass and variety of our purchases...the sense of replenishment we felt...it seemed we had achieved a fullness of being..." Paranoia Jack's paranoia seems to radiate from deep within himself and changes how he perceives his surroundings.

pg. 22- "Did his mother consume some kind of gene-piercing substance when she was pregnant? Am I at fault somehow? Have I raised him, unwittingly, in the vicinity of a chemical dump site...?"

pg. 27- "I am always surprised at their acceptance and trust, the sweetness of their belief. Nothing is too doubtful to be of use to them as they seek to redeem their bodies from a lifetime of bad posture. It is the end of skepticism." Definition - a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range; meaningless or distracting commotion, hubbub, or chatter

In the novel: In the novel thus far, White Noise is portrayed as both a visual and auditory presence. These external sources have internal repercussions (pg. 52).

pg. 8- fire alarm pg. 38- Murray's interpretation
pg. 12- barn's aura pg. 46- calming technology
pg. 16- television pg. 51- medium of television; transmitting information
pg. 23- rain and the senses pg. 66-67- brain fade
pg. 36- grocery store commotion
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