Analysis Of Don Delillo's White Noise

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Don DeLillo’s White Noise provides an immense amount of commentary on narratives and the postmodern condition. His protagonist, Jack Gladney narrates a brief portion of his and his families lives. Jack uses narratives to try to make sense of his identity, and the world of simulacrum in which they live. However, the grand narrative that Jack desires to help him make meaning of both his life and his death is out of place in the postmodern order. Through exploring this conflict, White Noise demonstrates how society is in need of a contemporary narrative that encompasses our ever changing world. DeLillo establishes that the postmodern world is full of simulacrum and thus one can not truly understand who they are. DeLillo’s protagonist Jack Gladney invents his own department of Hitler studies at the university where he works. The Chancellor of the university tells him to alter both his name and appearance in order to be taken seriously. Jack admits that he is “a false character that follows the name around” (17) and it is clear that through his false identity Jack loses sight of who he really is. When his colleague comes across him in a mall, he comments that Jack is a completely different person without his glasses and gown, saying that he looks like, “[a] big, harmless, aging, indistinct sort of guy” (DeLillo 83). His colleague’s comments hurt him because he’s aware that his costume makes him a false character, and this puts him “in the mood to shop” (83). He describes
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