Don DeLillo's White Noise WHITE NOISE is probably Don DeLillo's most popular novel, largely because most readers see it as DeLillo's warmest and most human book. In this story, the ideas that seem to captivate DeLillo are fleshed out in real life in a way that none of his other books quite achieves. Of course, there are a few stubborn souls (like me) who still feel THE NAMES, or one of his other books is better. But I think everyone agrees, WHITE NOISE is a winner. It won DeLillo the National Book Award in 1985, and it also won a larger reading audience for a great American writer. DeLillo has said that Ernest Becker's THE DENIAL OF DEATH was a book that influenced him at the time he wrote WHITE NOISE. There's certainly no denying that death, and the many things we do to avoid facing it, is a major focus of DeLillo's novel. Becker's book, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1974, has as it's thesis the assertion that "the idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity---activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man." Becker's point is that this is *the* driving force in the human psyche today...which I think is overstating the matter a bit...but it certainly is a reality that all of us face in some way, sooner or later. As I looked through Becker's book last month, I was surprised to discover that it's actually an exposition of the work of Otto Rank. Rank was the third of the three famous defectors from Freud's inner psychoanalytic circle early this century (the others being Alder and Jung), and he's known in the literary world to a certain extent because of his intimate involvement with Anais Nin. Like Jung, Rank developed a psychology of mythology and religion...and, in particular, Rank's emphasis was "The Hero" motif. This is what Jung called "the puer aeternus" (or the female "puella")---the eternal youth...who never ages...who never dies...to whom death is nothing. In psychology, this idea is linked closely with that of narcissism, which is considered prevalent in society today. Just look at all the things we do to avoid the appearance of aging! Jack Gladney is, at best, an unlikely Hero, I think.
“One On The Nature of Humans: Sigmund Frued.” Contemporay Psychoanaltic Studies 12. (2010): 73-88. Academic Search Complete. Web 30 April 2014.
Hermann Hesse's repeated themes of enlightenment through religion, self acceptance, love, and fate, surface in Narcissus and Goldmund, as Goldmund, a student at Mariabronn cloister, discovers his true calling as an artist and lover. Taking the advice of his diametric, the analytical, dark, and spare Brother Narcissus, a teacher at the cloister who recognizes Goldmund as "a dreamer with the soul of a child," Goldmund acknowledges his suppressed childhood and rediscovers the image of his mother.
Spengler published volume one of The Decline of the West in 1919 when German lost the World War One. He did not care for academics and lingered around in the margin of German cultures. For ten years he become a high school teacher and gradually shaped this idea and then quit to write this book. Similar with Nietzsche, he suffered migraine in his head and he never married. He lives up until 50 years old and died from heart attack. His childhood is tormented with nightmares and at the same time an ...
In Don Delilo’s, White Noise different themes are shown throughout the novel. Some themes that are shown often are the fear of death, loss of identity, technology as the enemy and American consumerism. The society represented in the novel views the people as objects and is emotionally detached from many things. The culture that’s represented in the novel adds to the loss of individualism, but also works hand in hand with consumerism.
Bryant uses nature and nature’s past to comfort the scared reader. He does this by evoking the consoling thought that human death is a good thing because nature will be there embracing the death. The feelings of loneliness are encircled by nature’s calm and valiant deathbed. This portrays the tremendous power of nature over the intuition of human
Literature can be used as a platform for social commentary. The opening passage of White Noise by Don DeLillo employs a cynical tone, commenting on the clear separation between classes. The distinction between the privileged Americans and those who aren’t as wealthy is evident and self-perpetuating, due to the classist nature of the society. White noise is a form of background noise, which can be used to block out other distractions and unwanted noise. This is reflected in the shared attitudes of society due to the self-perpetuation of the wealthy to create a larger divide between classes and the separation of those with mental illnesses in the insane asylum. By conducting a classist reading, the disconnectedness and distance in the social
Friedrich Nietzsche is a German philosopher who lived in 1844 to 1900, and his proposition on eternal recurrence was one of his most discussed works. The concept states that the world is eternally self – destroying, then self – creating, over time. He radicalizes the Christian concept of eternity and combines it with simple reasoning to come up with an innovative concept. This paper will discuss in detail what eternal recurrence is and the implications of such a concept on free spirits, and whether adopting such a belief will make a person’s life better or not. The paper will then proceed to offer a response to criticism on Nietzsche’s proposition. The text to be used is the second edition of ‘Existentialism: Basic Writings’ by Charles Guignon and Derk Pereboom. This book offers good rudimentary synopsis of the four major proponents of existentialism: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Kierkegaard, with excerpts from Husserl and Hegel aimed at giving a better explanation on the origin of existentialism. The author offers a simplified explanation on the various philosophical concepts by the philosophers mentioned above, making it easier to understand than would have been possible if one was reading the original works. The specific area of interest from the book is the area that covers Nietzsche’s Gay Science, as it offers insight on his concept of eternal recurrence.
By coding his novel, White Noise, as if it were a television show, DeLillo comments on the state of affairs in our modern culture. DeLillo demonstrates our society's codependency on what was originally only intended to be a medium of communication. By showing the benevolence of the medium as it translates into the lives of his characters, DeLillo is saying that maybe our dependence on television, even as blood bath entertainment is not as bad as generally perceived.
...e and had millions of hits. Just shows how our society is. In the story Videotape the man watches the man getting shot over and over. He has an odd curiosity for death just like many people in this world do, because we are all afraid of death. We all want to know how we are going to die. Seeing other people die gives us a sense of what death is like and how it could be like for ones self. We watch it to see how a person acts when they are slowly dying or when they are about to die. Just like the man was waiting and watching for the drivers death. Death can happen so unexpectedly and people are afraid of it. By watching or reading incidences of murders society becomes less sensitive to it. This exposure through media demonstrates decreased sensitivity and increased curiosity in death and violence. Don Delillo’s Videotape reveals this aspect of society.
With death being an omnipresent threat people gravitate towards signs of enlightenment. The realization of inevitable death reiterates human insignificance creating the reliance on religious beliefs to cope with predestination. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road describes a religious debate during a cathartic journey. The young boy in the novel struggles to grasp the concept of death. The idea of death parallels that of addressing the afterlife, this part of the boy’s brain wants to accept the concept of religion and higher powers.
Jack Gladney and his family are no ordinary group of people. Jack, the protagonist of White Noise by Don Delillo, and his wife Babette live crippled by the fear of death. The couple only recently married and all of their kids that live with them come from different marriages. Wilder is the youngest, followed by Steffie, Denise, and then Heinrich. All of the children have experienced different upbringings from different parents and as a result, each of Jack and Babette’s children have unique personalities that make them distinct from each other and even their parents.
In the book The Denial of Death Ernest Becker writes “the idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is the mainspring of human activity – activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man” (Becker XVII). One thing that every human being on this earth has in common is that death is imminent. This fear of death produces terror and is explained through terror management theory. Terror management theory addresses the conflict of both the desire of living and also the inevitable fear of death. After analysis of the terror management theory the unconscious fear of death leads humans to mask their terror
Countless religions discuss the idea of reincarnation, and rebirth. And the idea of rebirth plays a major role in defining whether our lives are governed by circumstance, or action.... ... middle of paper ... ... Frobisher composes a masterpiece, and decides that it is time to leave Ayres’. However, Ayres’ does not appreciate this and warns him that if he doesn’t stay that he will not allow him to become anything.
Views on death varies from person to person due to differing belief systems scattered across the world. While some fear death, others may welcome it, perhaps hoping to be reunited with deceased loved ones. The perception that death is final contributes to people’s distress over death, but Emily Dickinson argues otherwise in her poem “Because I could not stop for Death” (1890). Dickinson, whose Puritan beliefs influenced her poetry, helps shift society’s views on death, from a fearful stance to embracing death as a steppingstone to eternity. Furthermore, the negative stereotype surrounding ghosts does not aid in alleviating people’s fear of death and what follows.