Don DeLillo's White Noise novel and Malcolm Gladwell's Big and Bad article

Don DeLillo's White Noise novel and Malcolm Gladwell's Big and Bad article

Length: 1018 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Don DeLillo’s novel, White Noise revolves around the life of Jack, a Hitler Studies scholar at College-on-the-Hill. The characters within the novel all want to involve themselves with the events in an industrial American society. Jack and his fourth spouse, Babette are characterized by their love, fear of loss of life, and four seemingly civilized children. The family seeks to live in a society where the consumerism culture is highly influenced by media and companies. The characters’ consumerism culture becomes influenced by the dangers of the industrial chemical cloud that hangs over their lives. This essay explores the importance of honesty in the wake of a consumerism culture that is highly influenced by the media and companies as evident in White Noise by DeLillo and “Big and Bad” by Malcolm Gladwell.
In Gladwell’s “Big and Bad” article, he discusses company and media influences on consumers’ choices of safe cars (Gladwell 440). Gladwell depicts the two key organizations as being dishonest in their unfair influences on consumers’ choice to buying big cars; however, this turns out to be passively safe as opposed to being actively safe. The author provides facts about the 33 brands of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and minivans, with the less preferred, midsize cars such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Volkswagen Jetta taking the lead on safety. Gladwell argues company information and media influences have turned very safe cars into unsafe ones because drivers tend to be passive rather than active when driving (Gladwell 440). The story closely resembles White Noise in the sense that in both cases, the consumerism culture subject to media and company influences, rather than the objectivity of the customers.
Jack’s life re...


... middle of paper ...


...y the media.
Generally, DeLillo creates uncertainty in the life events surrounding various characters in the White Noise. The author has dedicated the novel’s plotline to important events, random conversations, and bits of sounds of machines and the media to create a sense of a new life and era. Throughout White Noise and “Big and Bad,” readers are shown the massive role of the media and companies in influencing consumerism cultural influences. Media and companies are depicted as blocking consumer objectivity in life and with the massive risks upon the end-users; honesty is the best policy that would guarantee consumers consistency and safety.


Works Cited
DeLillo, Don. White Noise. New York: Viking, 1985.
Malcolm Gladwell. "Big and Bad." Open Questions. Eds. Chris Anderson and Lex
Runciman. New York: Bedford, 2005. 36-41. Print. Web. 11 May 2014.



Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Death of Identity in DeLillo's White Noise

- The Death of Identity in DeLillo's White Noise In addition to addressing the premonitory electricity of death, the title of Don DeLillo's White Noise alludes to another, subtler, sort of white noise - the muted death of suburban white identity. College-on-the-Hill is not only an elite academic promontory, but also a bastion for white flight in which Jack Gladney's family has taken refuge. Instead of John Winthrop's clear City-on-a-Hill morality, DeLillo presents us with J.A.K. Gladney's muddled postmodern inheritance of J.F.K.'s civil rights legacy....   [tags: White Noise Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
2920 words (8.3 pages)

White Noise Essay

- In Don DeLillo’s eighth novel: White Noise, warmly accepted by critiques, the author exposes, that the money gained colossal meaning during our time, plunging down other values like freedom of customer choice and respect for shoppers. In his work of fiction he illustrates how current world of commerce impacts our minds by manipulating our decisions, and also he indicates that a human nature demonstrates immense vulnerability for such attack. Moreover the ubiquitous commercials lead us to desire of having things we never tried before, to see things not worth seeing, to buy stuff we really do not need....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Don DeLillo]

Strong Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Fear of Death in White Noise by Don DeLillo Essay

- In the novel, White Noise by Don DeLillo, Jack Gladney tries to think that he know his wife Babette. He tries to disguise his true self in order to gain strength through his false identity. He tries to control Babette’s thoughts by telling her she is supposed to act a particular way because he is slowly losing control and the struggle of who is more afraid of death. Jack constantly is trying to face his fears of death but learns that his wife has similar fears. He tries to gain power over his death by trying to murder someone....   [tags: identity, kill, fear, death]

Strong Essays
628 words (1.8 pages)

Psychological Comfort in Don Delillo´s White Noise Essay

- ... Denise used these occasions to counsel the younger girl on toughness, the need to be mean in the world, think skinned." (16) Human beings are emotional animals, that's why we can sense the fear of death and choose our ways to deal with it. 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....   [tags: mass, media, death, culture, society]

Strong Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

A Comparison of Crying of Lot 49 and White Noise Essay

- A Comparison of Crying of Lot 49 and White Noise   Pynchon's novel The Crying of Lot 49 has much in common with Don DeLillo's book White Noise. Both novels uncannily share certain types of characters, parts of plot structure and themes. The similarities of these two works clearly indicates a cultural conception shared by two influential and respected contemporary authors.             Character similarities in the two novels are found in both the main characters and in some that are tangential to the plots....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

Themes in White Noise by Don DeLillo Essay

- White Noise “The world…is crowded, not necessarily with occupants and not at all with memorable experiences, but with happenings; it is a ceaseless flow of seductive trivialities which invoke neither reflection, nor choice but instant participation.” (Oakeshott) The idea of the lacking of realness is one of the major themes carried out throughout the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo, especially through the device of the television. “For most people there are only two places in the world. Where they live and their TV set....   [tags: White Noise Don DeLillo]

Strong Essays
2251 words (6.4 pages)

White Noise Essays

- Hoop Dreams pages 130 through 240 In these chapters the two boys lives separated greatly. William had hurt his foot, and he had a baby girl. Arthur was playing very bad at basketball, and his family was becoming more poor then ever. The way that this book is organized is a very simple one. The book is divided into two different parts. One of the parts is about the life of William, and the other part is about the life of Arthur. Both boys know each other, and sometimes their lives mix together....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
743 words (2.1 pages)

The Failure of Technology in White Noise by Don Delillo Essay

- The Failure of Technology in White Noise by Don Delillo One particularly unfortunate trait of modern society is our futile attempt to use technology to immunize ourselves against the fear of death. 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....   [tags: White Noise Essays Delillo Don ]

Strong Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

Essay on Family Values in Don DeLillo's White Noise

- Family Values in Don DeLillo's White Noise       Patched together from different marriages, various mothers and fathers, the nuclear family in Don DeLillo's White Noise is nothing if not impacted and constructed by modernity. This explication of a typical American lifestyle does not examine the simplicity of daily life but rather the influence of outside sensory impact that impinges itself upon the nuclear family. The "noise" that surrounds and engulfs the modern family separates it from larger, universal issues that become muddled with the continuing barrage of information and confusion....   [tags: White Noise Essays Don Delillo Essays]

Strong Essays
2040 words (5.8 pages)

Theme of Death in White Noise Essay examples

- White Noise Death is probably the most feared word in the English language. Its undesired uncertainty threatens society’s desire to believe that life never ends. Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise tells the bizarre story of how Jack Gladney and his family illustrate the postmodern ideas of religion, death, and popular culture. The theme of death’s influence over the character mentality, consumer lifestyle, and media manipulation is used often throughout DeLillo’s story.      Perhaps, the character most responsive to death is Jack Gladney....   [tags: White Noise Don DeLillo Death Novels Essays]

Strong Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)