White Noise by Don Delillo

The primary character of the narrative prose book White Noise

Jack Gladney, is married but has a blended family. The novel's overall themes center on the essence of life, its unpredictability, and auxiliary elements like technology that can have a significant influence on one's life. The subject of death and the fear of it is presented as complex and psychological with various stimuli. The book also emphasizes how pervasive technology is and how, based on perspective, it can either be a comfort or a hindrance. The writer pitches reality against bluff in a manner that shows that truth and lies have a very thin line defining their differences. It is an intriguing novel to mention the least.

How does the writer portray the impact of technology on relationships?

The basic definition of "White Noise" is the existence of numerous sources of disturbance that can be felt in equal measure (Vasilis 2012). The origins of these in physical form in the novel originate from the technological tolls depicted in the novel ranging from cars, images, machines and people. They are all everywhere the narrator goes. The impact of technology gives the Jack Gladney comfort in some aspect and discomfort in another. The existence of ATMs that allow him to acquire desired calculations at an anxious time makes him comfortable. On the other hand, it is technology that drives his wife to seek sophisticated medication that forces her to philander with the prescribing doctor in order to acquire. The expensive nature of technology does not allow her ability to simply access the drugs.

There happens to be an accident in which technological advances fail and a train derails and explodes. The aftermath has the sky filled with toxic Nyodene clouds for days and the inhabitants of the town have to be evacuated for safety reasons. When technology was meant to be a comfort giver, it now gives discomfort and threatens their lives. It is unpredictable that the technology used to manufacture drugs that Jacks wife so badly needed to the extent of committing adultery for, are key to the prolonging of Jack's life after exposure to the toxic Nyodene. The bitter of his life had just become the sweet, and this portrays technology as having the capacity to toss humans from one emotional end to another. Technology is a bitter sweet theme as portrayed in the novel based on its impacts on life.

In what ways does the Don Delillo depict the complexity of reality versus artifice?

Truth and lies are like conflicting ideologies if put together. However, the blend of the two is quite intriguing as in the novel White Noise. Jack is a social con married to Babette, a very honest and open lady. It even pains her to admit that she cheated on Jack. She is more of the innocent character while Jack comes out as the villain. He adds more vagueness to his personality as a professor to fit his desired demeanor. He has hardly grasped the German language but tries to achieve the German image on the outward. It is a heft to his authentic persona. His lie of persona is so deep that even his wife Babette and close colleagues do not have an idea of. It burdens him to hide it away that he has to take secret language classes whenever German seminars are due. On the other hand, as he envisions his wife as open and honest, she exhibits dishonesty by cheating on him, for drugs for a disease she did not disclose to her spouse the entire time. It feels a lie the life and perception she initially brought across, harboring two very different traits all in one person.

How does the unpredictability of life and its experiences change perceptions?

Jack Gladney is rigid when it comes to his imaginations and beliefs about death and so is his wife who at one point admits it to him by asking "What is more underlying than death?" Everyone has a prime fear of dying and technology among other things seem to distract Babette from thinking about death often. However, Jack does have these thoughts every often. He is portrayed as very cautious of it, not allowing himself into situations that may expose him. He is terrified of it. The novel characterizes death as an unpredictable aspect that can be met at any given time. This kind of uncertainty makes traits such as passionate living a part of characters such as Heinrich. At some point, Jack attempts to kill the doctor, Mink, whom his wife cheated on him with. Mink does not die, and in this bit the writer brings out the unexpected consequence that lightens Jack's terror over death. The fact that death almost happens but fails to makes him live free of the fear of death.

In relation to the novel "White Noise", are villains just villains?

Villains are not just villains. The writer draws us a picture of life circumstances that drag one into evil and either keeps them that way or opens them back to a lighter way of life. Jack and Babette can be described as villain and angelic respectively. However, circumstances force them into persons they are not. Babette is ill and has to find the best medicinal help she can get. In her quest she ends up an adulterous spouse. On the contrary, Jack is a well-organized fraud persona. Evil in a not so subtle manner. He lives a lie as a lecturer to protect a desired demeanor. He is angry at Doctor Mink and intends to kill him, a scenario that can be understood as involuntary but vengeance driven. It is the circumstances that make him villain. Toward the end of the narrative, he admits to being happy the doctor did not die of the gunshot. This implies that he had learnt not to handle things the villain way and was opening up to a newer way of handling matters. In today's life, this can be related to how the pressures of life exert on one's trait to extreme villain actions such as murder. It is evident that in most cases, these people would not just be villain if situations favored them not to be (Anonymous, 2016).

How would you summarize this novel and the lessons you have observed therein?

The main subjects observed in the novel White Noise would be the constant unpredictability of life, the continued underlying fear of death and the disguise of truth dwelling in lies and vice versa. This novel depicts circumstances changing who we are and the fact that lies can be so openly hidden in what we perceive as true. The writer and narrator show a correlation of real and unreal issues in life and the white noise that surrounds us, often keeping us away from our fears. It is also essential to learn that we are surrounded by aspects that make us exposed and vulnerable at all times. In the end, Jack narrates of "a supermarket that has realigned its shelves". This is a lesson that once we realign our thoughts and perspectives we can handle our fears and life soberly for the better.

Works Cited

Marmarelis, Vasilis. Analysis of physiological systems: The white-noise approach. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

Anonymous. "White Noise Themes." Review of White Noise, by Don Delillo. Spark Notes, 27 November 2016.

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