Image in the Novel of the Relation of Fear to Death

“White Noise” by, Don DeLillo post-modern novel is a representation of a Social approach to fear of dying in its literature. Throughout the novel death’s influence over the characters mentality, media manipulation and consumer lifestyle. The novel becomes a meditation on modern society’s fear of death and its obsession with chemical cures in a postmodernism timeline. Death is part of the natural process of life. It has been delayed by medical science, ignored by society and disregarded by the young. Nevertheless, it still exists lurking in the back of our minds. Each day were alive we all move closer to the moment of our death. And if we allow this thought to preoccupy out existences then it will prevent us from living our life to the fullest due to an intruding dreadful fear of death and dying. “White Noise” is a representation of how were always aware of death but do not wish to acknowledge it due to fear. Death can be seen as the white noise which is always present in our life but not always heard. The characters in this novel have to face their fear that death is inevitable. Death is present throughout the novel, and since you can’t escape it the characters hide behind the reality instead of facing it. Causing characters in the novel approach of death differently.

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The character more susceptible to death is Jack Gladney. Jack is the founder and professor of Hilter studies at the College-on-the-Hill. So therefore, there is not a more relevant twentieth century icon that represents death. Which makes Jack more septicable since he surrounds himself with his work. Jack’s obsession with his fear of death is further influenced by the event of the airborne toxic. He’s so consumed with his fear of death that his thought process is often interrupted with the question “Who will die first?” (DeLillo 15). Jack find’s the atmosphere of death to be real, so he relies on his consumer lifestyle as a place to escape. Jack’s wife Babette Gladney also have the same mentality of her husband which involves her keeping her fear of death to herself. Babette begins taking the drug called Dylar, which she obtains from Willie Mink whom conducts experimental trials for the drug by exchanging the drug for sexual intercourse. Babette secretly participates in the trial because she thinks it will counteract her fear of death. When Jack becomes exposed to the airborne toxic, he tries to deal with his exposure through science. He said, “Dylar is almost as ingenious as the microorganism that ate the billowing cloud.

Who would have believed in this existence of a little white pill that works as a pressure pump in the human body to provide medication safely and effectively, and self-destructs as well? I am struck by the beauty of this” (DeLillo, 219). Even though Babette said the drug didn’t work for her and that she still dread the possibility of death, Jack becomes fascinated at the idea that a little white pill could contain the end to his fear. Jack schemes to get the pill at no matter the cost, since he believes that it’s a solution to his problem and that science and technology can provide it, but he can’t find the pill. Jack’s lesser appeasing qualities prompts him to devise an improbable plot. Leaving us to see that Jack has appealed to his professional life of Hitler studies to overcome his fear of death. “Some people are larger than life, Hitler is larger than death” (DeLillo, 330). Jack ultimately submits to a kind of a Hitlerian discourse which is will to power, so he decides that he will overcome death by causing the death of another.

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Image in the Novel of the Relation of Fear to Death. (2022, Aug 30). Retrieved October 3, 2022 , from
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