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White Noise (by Don DeLillo) - Essay Example

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This contemporary novel by Don DeLillo follows the life of the narrator – Jack Gladney during his academic year as a professor in an American town. It was sometimes hard to follow the storyline, because the protagonist was describing in…
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White Noise (by Don DeLillo)
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White Noise by Don DeLillo White Noise was published in 1985. This contemporary novel by Don DeLillo follows the life of the narrator – Jack Gladney during his academic year as a professor in an American town. It was sometimes hard to follow the storyline, because the protagonist was describing in details conversation, which seemed trivial and unrelated to the rest of the plot. We can recognise 2 major plot lines – the airborne toxic event and Jacks fourth wife – Babette, involvement in an experimental pharmaceutical drug.
The title White Noise signifies that throughout the novel the readers can hear different background hums and noises, which accompanies the narrative. I can remember the traffic, Babette humming, the never-ending sounds from the supermarket and TV fragments and commercials, which interfere constantly with the storyline. Jack and his wife ponder that may be death is nothing more than just a continuous stream of white noise. These noises are the very ingredient of life, which fills our mundane existence.
One of the themes the novel gravitates around is the existential question - “who will die first?” Jack and Babette debate this with zest. They depict their endless fear of death, compare their eventual grief, and how each of them would prefer to die first, because they would not bear live without the other. The theme of death sheds lights into Jack and Babettes relationship. Both of them are actually terrified of death to such a degree that they can hardly lead any kind of life, right here, right now.
The novel is abundant in various symbols - such as objects, figures, or colour. All these I noticed are used in order to convey or strengthen certain concept or idea. One of the symbols is Hitler - a figure of imminent terror and hatred. The other overwhelming symbol is the sunsets. They dominate the landscape of the novel, as a sublime presence.
They novel was difficult to follow. There are multiple layers entwined, many plots, sub-plots and contexts to be observes.
References
DeLollo, Don, White Noise, Penguin Books, New York, 2009, Print Read More
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