A Critique of White Noise Novel by Don DeLillo - ReadScholars

A Critique on White Noise novel by Don DeLillo

A Critique of White Noise Novel by Don DeLillo

Looking at "White Noise" by Don DeLillo from a deconstructive view, we see that it strengthens the same power structures it tries to criticize. Derrida says all knowledge systems are uncertain and conflicting. Trying to stabilize them only keeps the existing power in place. In "White Noise," the novel critiques how language and media control people, yet it relies on those same systems to share its message.

Another issue with "White Noise" is how it sets up a clear opposition between reality and simulation, which doesn't work well from a deconstructive perspective. The book shows a world where copies replace reality without originals. But Derrida argues that reality is never unfiltered – it's always influenced by language and culture. So, the clear difference between real and simulated in the novel isn't as straightforward as it seems. They're always mixed.

Ultimately, "White Noise" brings up important questions about language, media, and power in today's world. Still, it can also be critiqued from a deconstructive angle for relying on clear differences and not fully escaping the power structures it criticizes.

Binary Opposition in "White Noise"

"White Noise" has many binary oppositions and these create tension. One is between real and fake, like life and death, nature and tech. These opposites make the characters' lives complex.

One main opposite is real vs. fake. Characters feel lost in a world of media. They're surrounded by fake things, like images without real things behind them. For example, Jack teaches about Hitler but never meets a real Nazi. He knows the fake media version.

Life and death are also opposites in the book. Death is everywhere, making characters worry about it. They search for meaning against the idea of death. One character, Murray, is really into death as the main truth of life.

But these opposites can limit a story. Derrida says they change and aren't fixed in "White Noise," real and fake mix so much that it's hard to tell them apart. Death is always evolving too. 

Opposition in Characters

Let's look at Jack and Babette using these opposites. Jack studies Hitler but never meets a real Nazi. His fear is the emptiness of life with so much media. Babette, however, cares more about looking young. She spends a lot on looks, showing herself as a copy of her youth. Life and death matter to both too. Jack worries about life's point. He wants meaning before death. Babette focuses on enjoying life and only thinks a little about deep meanings.

These opposites show hidden things about Jack and Babette. Jack's concern with real vs fake shows how media controls life. He uses Hitler to understand real horror. Babette, though, worries about fake looks to hide from death. She wants to control her body and image.

Ultimately, "White Noise" uses opposites for tension, but Derrida says these aren't fixed. The book's clear differences between real and fake, life and death, show more about Jack and Babette, but they also fit into the bigger picture of media's control.

Opposition in "White Noise" creates tension but can also limit the story. Derrida says these opposites are always changing. The book's real vs. fake, life vs. death opposites show Jack and Babette's worries. But these worries also fit into the more prominent theme of media control.

Fraud's Defense Mechanisms in DeLillo's White Noise Novel

In DeLillo's novel "White Noise", characters use defence mechanisms to cope with their fears and insecurities. These defences help them feel better and protect their emotions.

1. Denial: Characters like Jack Gladney pretend things aren't happening. For example, when a chemical leak occurs, they act like it's not dangerous, saying, "Airborne Toxic Event sounds like a made-up phrase."

2. Intellectualization: They use big words to make problems seem less scary. Jack calls death "The Most Photographed Barn in America" to distance himself from its scariness.

3. Humor: Characters joke about serious things. When the toxic cloud comes, Babette jokes about shopping, trying to make the situation seem less frightening.

4. Repression: People push uncomfortable thoughts away. When Jack thinks about death, he distracts himself with other thoughts to avoid feeling sad.

5. Rationalization: Characters make excuses for their actions. When Babette cheats, she says, "I needed to love you...so I went out and had an affair."

6. Projection: They blame others for their problems. Jack blames Babette for making him take a pill that might be dangerous.

7. Displacement: People direct emotions to the wrong target. Steffie cries about a lost doll, but she's scared about the chemical leak.

8. Sublimation: Characters channel emotions into productive things. Murray writes about car crashes, turning his fear into art.

9. Regression: In stressful times, characters act younger. Jack sucks his thumb when he's scared, like a child.

In conclusion, White Noise explores how people use defence mechanisms to deal with their fears. These tricks help them survive in a confusing world. The characters' struggles and actions show how these mechanisms work.

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