Consumerism In White Noise's White Noise

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This serves as an interesting topical instroduction to the novel White Noise in which is both a study of death and more than that a confronting depiction of consumerist America, the America of the 1980s. Published in 1985, it tells the story of Jack Gladney who is a professor at a college in Blacksmith, which stands representative for any United States town, with all its regular institutions, such as malls, churches and single family homes. Jack lectures at the college and an expert on Hitler as a person and political figure whereby he has gained world fame. We are also introduced to Babette, Gladney’s wife who, just as Gladney himself fears death. They have multiple children, all stemming from different previous relationships. The plot action throughout the first part of the novel (there are three in total) showcases American problems and the American psyche through vignettes and only in the second…show more content…
Towards the end of the novel, Jack finds out the name of the project manager who has provided Babette with Dylar and his encounter with Willie Mink serves as one of the strongest scenes in the novel. Mink is entrapped in consumerism and media, confused and in essence absent from reality. Jack attempts, but is unsuccessful in murdering Mink. The novel ends with Wilder, Jack’s youngest son driving over the highway and surviving the traverse, which levitates Jack from his fear of death. The final moments of the novel, a bit of a summary of it, are the description of the rearrangement of the supermarket, which causes great distress amongst the shoppers. In White Noise Don DeLillo employs its characters, objects, style and the title itself to convey how consumerism and media, the “white noise” of our postmodern world, ultimately betray us and manipulate us into a new relationship with humans, objects and even
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