6.5 Reading Activity (ACTIVITY) Literature & Language Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)
This is about the book White Noise: Text and Criticism, edited by Mark Osteen. Chapter 26 starts on page 84 in the document. Read chapters 26 - 40.
The instruction is in the picture. you need to answer 4 questions in the instruction, the answer should only be related to the chapters and the other information.
• Respond to questions below and type your responses in the Reply box in multiple paragraphs.
1. Where do see an example of irony, hyperbole, sarcasm, or humor in the novel? How is this ridiculing some aspect in our society, whether that be the abuse, corruption, or absurd practices (and shortcomings) of persons, institutions, or social structures? See sample analysis on 4.8 Themes and Satire in White Noise and 5.5 Hitler's Death Camps & Chapter 21.
2. Analyze Winnie’s character. She seems strange like many of the other characters in the novel, but she also seems to have a different approach on death: “Isn't death the boundary we need? Doesn't it give texture to life, a sense of definition? You have to ask yourself whether anything you do in this life would have beauty and meaning without the knowledge you carry of a final line, a border or limit” (228-9). What do make of the previous passage? Contrast her position on death to Jack’s. What's DeLillo trying to say about death in this dialogue between Winnie and Jack in chapter 30?
3. What is DeLillo saying about our American culture in 1985? How is his criticism relevant today?
4. Form a question about the novel: (see 4.10 Drafting Literary Questions for an explanation on how to formulate questions)
4.8 Themes and Satire in White Noise (READ)Themes
When reading any literary text, it is important to understand the importance of themes, for themes are not only the topic the author is exploring, but what the author is saying about that topic. Many students immediately recognize the following themes: death, identity and consumerism.
Death, as Theme
Jack asks his wife. "Who will die first?" You probably noticed right away that Jack has a preoccupation with death. This is a real fear that many people have, but do we sit around and think about our own death on a daily basis? For many, probably not. It's a reality that is too grim and horrific to face, so we put it out of our minds and distract ourselves with other things to fill up our time. We call this living, but it can be seen in another way. a distraction from the inevitable death.
And then there is Hitler, who is known for the death of twelve million people. Yet. here is the irony that DeLillo is hoping his readers will see. Hitler is also larger than life, so in a sense, immortal. His character and legacy will never be forgotten. In a way. Jack is using Hitler to propel his own legacy and immortality since his legacy as the Hitler guru will live on. We do this today, working hard toward something to make a name for ourselves. Whether we name our children after ourselves or desire to be the next president of the United States, many are driven to be remembered after we die.
Identity, as Theme
In chapter 3, Murray. Jack's colleague and friend, says to Jack. "You've established a wonderful thing here with Hitler.... Nobody on the faculty of any college or university in this part of the country can so much utter the word Hitler without a nod in your direction, literally or metaphorically. ... He is now your Hitler. Gladney's Hitler" (DeLillo 11). Jack had done something to make a name for himself, like people who chase fame or titles or status. This is part of making an identity we have explored in our second unit Professional identity is just one facet of who we are. but plays a major role in how we want society to see us. DeLillo is using sarcasm and humor to ridicule and mock the way we consume identities and falsely project an idealized version of ourselves. Today, we do this when building profiles on social media.
Consumerism, as Theme
In chapter 17, Jack runs into a colleague. Eric Massingale.atthe mall. Massingale says to Jack, "You look so harmless. Jack. A big. harmless, aging, indistinct sort of guy." Ouch! ForJack. "The encounter put [him] in a mood to shop” (DeLillo 82). We come to see how Jack is insecure and hides behind his academic robe and sunglasses when he is on campus. He also hides behind the prestige of being a Hitler scholar, so when Massingale exposes Jack and sees him as a regular guy. Jack does what many of us do. turn to retail-therapy to sooth the boredom, inadequacies, or depression. What follows is Jack shopping "for its sake" (DeLillo 84). This is an example of hyperbole, exaggerating the role of shopping and how it makes us feel like we "grow in value and self-regard" (84) with each purchase.
6.5 Reading Activity (Activity)
1. In the chapter 39, DeLillo writes about Mink whose life Jack saved “His mouth was awash in regurgitated Dylar foam, half chewed tablets, flyspeck shards of polymer. I felt large and selfless, above resentment”. The irony is that Jack becomes more spiritual after saving the life of Mink and later when he gets sentimental about religious life, a nun at the hospital implies that she and fellow nurses are not religious but need to be for the secularists. DeLillo writes on death and religion in the last few chapters where Jack accepts that there are uncertainties about death, but death is not as mysterious as Jack had initially feared. The fear of death is associated with the characters making decisions to try to overcome death, but death is natural and all the technology and scientific advancements do not save man from death, which is inevitable. Death is expected and even as Jack saves Mink’s life he came to the realization that there is nothing he could do to overcome his fear of death
2. Winnie Richards is a neurochemist who is rational and accepts that death is natural and not strange as Jack and she is more open to testing theories to make conclusions. The character does not want to get to be noticed unlike Jack her co worker.
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