Summary Analysis In bed that night, Jack confronts Babette once more, this time refusing to be sidetracked. She reluctantly tells him that about a year and a half ago she started going through a phase that she thought would pass, but it eventually developed into a condition.
Plots and History Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in White Noise, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. By associating moments of transcendence with trivial and vapid artifacts of popular culture, DeLillo blurs the line between spiritual existence and consumer culture.
When Jack hears Steffie mutter Toyota Celica in her sleep, he admits: It was like the name of an ancient power in the sky […]. Whatever its source, the utterance struck me with the impact of a moment of splendid transcendence. Although White Noise does not fully condemn consumer culture, it does critically examine how humans receive this kind of information and entertainment, a process DeLillo sees as emotionally charged and potentially harmful to the psyche.
The language DeLillo uses to describe consumer culture, then, is both clinical and spiritual. Murray, for example, believes that psychic data—the products and advertisements in the supermarket—contain hidden symbolism and meanings that he can discern.
DeLillo, then, refuses to decisively weigh in on the meaning of consumer culture, instead positing that its inexplicable blend of the spiritual with the vapid and banal compels people to worship and interpret popular culture as an end in itself.
Consumer culture, in other words, is self-propelled, and it derives its power from a combination of mystery and ubiquity. Despite its unknowability, DeLillo posits that psychic data has a profound significance for human identity. To Jack—and to readers, too—he is an example of what people can become if they rely too heavily on the media and other vapid distractions to allay fear, insecurity, or other naturally human existential misgivings.
How often theme appears:Television white noise that the artist photographed while in Russia. For Tillmans, the image signifies resistance on his part to making clear images, but without the text its . The negative influence of television is that we're given half truths, and rarely do we get, as Paul Harvey liked to say, "the rest of the story." TV dumbs us down.
This claim would appear to fly in the face of all of the educational programs on television.
The Role and Influence of Mass Media Mass media is communication—whether written, broadcast, or spoken—that reaches a large audience. This includes television, radio, advertising, movies, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, and so forth. In White Noise, the pervasive presence of technology proves both menacing and comforting. Throughout the novel, in counterpoint to the human babble of Jack’s friends, family, and neighbors, modern technology asserts itself through the humming of machines and the constant stream of media sounds and images. The Infiltration of Popular Culture in DeLillo's White Noise Words | 3 Pages. The Infiltration of Popular Culture in DeLillo's White Noise In Don DeLillo's satirical novel White Noise, we become acquainted with what we might call a "postmodern family" - a group of people loosely bound together by birth, marriage, and common residence.
White noise is a nondescript background hum, kind of like the noise of a fan or of someone saying “Shhhh!” continuously. Listening to white noise may turn out to be better than listening to intermittent speech if it successfully drowns out the speech, but that doesn’t mean it’s ideal.
Culture in The s.
BACK; NEXT ; The paradoxical nature of the '50s was evident in the cultural arena. The Eisenhower era was a time of both squeaky-clean Disneyland and unkempt, edgy beatniks.
It was a time when the defiantly sexual Elvis competed with the insufferably bland Perry Como. White noise sounds similar to the static noise heard when there’s no signal on your television or radio.
A sound you’d probably try to get rid of as quickly as possible. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in White Noise, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.