When Jack talks to Murray about Wilder, Murray points out that Wilder is free because he has no fear of death; death is a concept he does not understand. The consumer society, in which technology rules and change takes place very quickly, is not beneficial for everyone.
An example is the Treadwells, the old blind man and his sister who go missing for several days. They are eventually found in some abandoned area of a huge shopping mall; they had no doubt become confused by all the hustle and bustle and wandered off trying to find a safe refuge. This is not an isolated example.
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The supermarket, which seems to recharge the batteries of Jack and his family, as well as Murray, do not seem to fulfill such a function for the old. Jack is being uncharitable here, but his point seems a valid one in the context of the novel. All the things that serve to grease the wheels of American consumer culture in the s—malls, supermarkets, television—do not serve the elderly so well.
Right at the end of the novel there is a similar scene in the supermarket. The store has been rearranged, and the old people are distressed because they cannot find the items they want. In this respect the old are quite naturally contrasted to the young. The children are embedded in this fast-paced, advertising slogan-ridden culture in a way that the old can never be. The young may thrive; but the old may become victims. If the fear of death hangs like a dark cloud over the novel, the blended Gladney family represents an optimistic counterpoint to this pessimism.
The Gladneys embody the kind of change that the American family was undergoing during the s. The Gladney family is a complex one, and the reader has to piece together the family history as the novel unfolds and all the details come out. Jack has four children from three previous marriages he married one woman twice , only two of whom, Steffie and Heinrich, live with him. Babette has had other marriages—how many is not stated— which produced Denise, Eugene who does not live with her and Wilder. Their marriage, until it becomes negatively affected by their shared fear of death, is a good one.
In fact, there are passages in the novel that read almost like a paean to the emotional closeness and physical intimacy of married love. The Gladney family itself is a reasonably smoothly functioning unit; there do not appear to be any major sibling rivalries, even though none of the children in the home are full siblings.
In the midst of change, they have adapted well. They eat together and watch TV together. Father and son seem to enjoy a good relationship also. Ex-spouses visit on occasion, and former marriages and spouses are discussed; the children go off to visit their other parent during holidays. That is not to say there are no tensions in this family unit. That comment notwithstanding, the Gladney family that lives together in Blacksmith seems to function for the most part as a stable entity in which the two parents choose to play out their destructive psychodrama about death.
Death in Don DeLillo's 'White Noise'
It comes after Jack has allowed himself to indulge in a distressing fantasy about the many sounds that must have accompanied the lovemaking between his wife and Mr. Panasonic of course is the brand name of a Japanese electric products manufacturer. Seen in this light, Panasonic might have made an equally effective title for the novel, immediately linking the concept of the everyday white noise in society to the world of advertising, brand names and consumer items.
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White Noise Essays
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Thomas Jefferson. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Open Document. Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly. Perhaps, the character most responsive to death is Jack Gladney Better Essays words 3. Denise used these occasions to counsel the younger girl on toughness, the need to be mean in the world, think skinned. Watching more information from mass media would further influence human's brain, also weakening their abilities of thinking on their own.
Or sometimes, people choose to cheat themselves as to live easier in life. Even though they are able to do their decision wisely by thinking critically, they tend to set back and depend on those narcotic "plots" which made by advertisers Better Essays words 2. Every character acts out a different view on how people and the community, deal with this fear.
DeLillo narrates through the voice of Jack Gladney, the main character, whose fear plagues every aspect of White Noise. The failure of technology in this regard is the general subject of Don Delillo's book White Noise. Throughout this novel, technology is depicted as the ominous messenger of our common fate, an increasing sense of dread over loss of control of our lives and the approach of inevitable death in spite of the empty promises of technology Better Essays words 3 pages.
Some themes are the fear of death, loss of identity, technology as the enemy, and American consumerism.
The society represented in the novel views people as objects and emotionally detached from many things. Death is always in the air and trapped in peoples mind.