Summary Of Don Delillo's White Noise

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Don Delillo, the author of White Noise, wrote an incredible story about the invention of plots, and explains how naming things correlates with the idea of certainty and uncertainty. He does this through the main character of the novel, Jack Gladney, along with other characters that are in Jack’s life, such as his friend and co- worker, Murray Jay Siskind, a neuroscientist and another co-worker, Winnie Richards, and the creator of Dylar, Willie Minks. White Noise teaches us that naming things are extremely important because words are intricate and complex. Just one word or phrase has major effects in our daily lives; they represent and interpret the world to us. Naming things is hard to do because there can be different names for things and …show more content…
In the book, Jack ultimately goes with option A, and forms his own plan. After taking Murray’s “kill or be killed” advice, too literally, Jack decides that he is going to kill Willie Minks, the creator of Dylar, and believes everything will finally be “okay”. White Noise allows a question to surface: does Jack think that killing Minks is, symbolically, killing his fear of death? This plot gives him a feeling of ecstasy and excitement, as some “things glowed [and] a life rising out of them” (296). But when he did the deed, and shot Minks, Minks then shot him in the wrist. “The world collapsed inward, all those vivid textures and connections buried in mounds of ordinary stuff… what had happened to the higher plane of energy in which I’d carried out my scheme?” he asked (298). As Jack “…looked at him. Alive. His lap a puddle of blood. With the restoration of the normal order of matter and sensation, [he] felt [he] was seeing [Minks] for the first time as a person” (299). Although Jack’s plot was wrecked, he learned something he never would have learned, if he didn’t face fear. When his own life was threatened, he was able to clearly see Minks as a real person. He felt “compassion” and “mercy.” Even though we plan our plots, it does not mean it will go as planned, most are failed schemes and happen differently than intended. We are incapable of seeing the future. Trial and error is how we learn. We might name something one thing, something happens, and then we have to rename it. Names give us a sense of security, but we can only find them when we face uncertainty. It’s almost impossible to live in uncertainty though, because it is human instinct to plot, finding new answers and names for

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