Summary Of Chapter 39 Of Don Delillo's White Noise

972 Words4 Pages
In the former half of Chapter 39 of Don DeLillo’s White Noise, Jack Gladney’s conversation and altercation with Willie Mink portrays the peculiar duality of death bringing him closer than ever to understanding the true nature of plots and their motion. As Jack moved deathward, he found himself on a heightened plane of existence, becoming one with the concept he so deeply feared. No more white noise was present and he advanced a plot despite advises against said action: “The air was rich with extrasensory material. Nearer to death, nearer to second sight. A smashing intensity…I continued to advance in consciousness…I believed everything” (DeLillo, 295-296). Gladney, who possessed a fear of death began to embrace what has always been with him…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Jack compares and associates appearance with one’s expected responsibility: a doctor saves lives, a professor demands respect, a nun keeps the faith. When Jack encounters the nun, he becomes elated and curious about their dedication to their faith. He immediately assigns a role to her based off her appearance and the stereotype instantly falls apart, exposing the superficiality of truth: “’You’re a nun. Nuns believe those things. When we see a nun, it cheers us up, it’s cute and amusing, being reminded that someone still believes in angels, in saints, all the traditional things.’ ‘You would have a head so dumb to believe this?’” (DeLillo, 303). Jack’s dogma leads him to question not only the nun’s role but his own faith as appearance, for the first time, lacked a clear relationship with the role of an individual. His faith in her faith was baseless and thus he had to question if anything he truly put meaning into was
Open Document