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White Noise by Don Delillo Literature Analysis Essay


People have always tried to find the meaning in their life and understand what death is. The novel White Noise by Don Delillo dwells upon these eternal issues. The author explores the ways people see death, and it is clear that those are approaches apparent in society.

It is necessary to note that ideas concerning death are quite different, and some of them are somewhat delirious. At the same time, there is an approach which is the most suitable for the contemporary world. Interestingly, one of the most analytical characters of the book articulates the sanest idea concerning death.

First of all, it is necessary to mention a number of ideas which are incomplete or even wrongful. This idea can reveal the completeness and precision of the most comprehensive approach. For instance, Jack, the protagonist of the novel, notes that people were “forced to recognize the existence of the second kind of death” (Delillo 240). People take part in certain simulations, which make it clear that humans can be driven crazy by any idea of death.

Clearly, people should not be forced to understand that death is inevitable as they are not forced to accept that the sun shines or the moon affects tides. It is wrong to make people see death as something horrible or horrifying as it is a fact and the law of nature.

People should accept it like any other natural law. Of course, there is no need to expose people to any other kinds of death as it can be only a natural act which cannot be (and should not be) simulated. These simulations increase anxiety. People have to focus on life and their positive attitude towards everything inevitable in the world.

It is noteworthy that one of the sanest ideas concerning death is articulated by a scientist who is accustomed to question all ideas and approaches and rely on facts. Thus, Winnie asks, “Doesn’t it give precious texture to life, a sense of definition?” (Delillo 238). Clearly, this sense of definition makes lots of people appreciate what they have. People feel that there will be the end, and they tend to try to do something meaningful in their lives.

Death is really “the boundary” people truly need to understand they are living (Delillo 238). It is important to note that Winnie reveals one of the secrets of the universe and puts it into simple words saying, “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 a limit” (Delillo 238). People could hardly acknowledge the miraculous and beautiful part of their life without knowing that it will end.

This idea is supported by the end of the story of Jack’s attempt to kill his enemy. Jack comes back and watches his children sleep. This scene shows that Jack has done a lot in his life and has a lot to do as he is responsible for his children. The miracle of people’s life is to live and have their purpose. Bringing up children is one of the universal purposes people may have.

Bringing a new life to this world makes life worth living. At the same time, lots of people are able to feel they have their aim as they work on something meaningful and create important things. Winnie is a scientist who has numerous projects, so he brings knowledge and development to this world.

At the same time, this character brings an analytical approach, which can help people live and accept their death. As has been mentioned above, death is simply one of the natural laws people have to follow. Thinking analytically about this process can help people focus on their lives. Thinking critically about death can help people find the necessary answers.

Admittedly, people appreciate things more when they understand that they can lose it. For instance, people understand they love a person when they feel they can lose this person. They start appreciating every minute with their beloved. Even in people’s everyday life, it is clear they cherish something they can lose.

Likewise, people start cherishing life when they understand that it can terminate. If a person did not know that he could die in a few years, this person would never start doing meaningful things as he/she would think he could start it later. People would try to postpone and would be reluctant to act. Luckily, humans know that they have only a certain period of time, and they can make their dreams (or plans) come true within this time limit.

Nonetheless, it is necessary to add that Winnie notes that fear can also exist as it can make people appreciate life. This is a wrongful assumption, and the entire novel is an illustration of the deteriorating effect of this fear. It almost destroys Jack’s family life.

His wife becomes partially insane due to this fear, and she cannot see where reality ends and illusions begin. Thus, she would not see the difference between words and actions (Delillo, 198). This is one of the negative effects of fear of death. In the real world, it is also possible to find numerous examples of this negative effect.

For instance, people who think about death too long become passive. They do not have time for being truly alive. They focus on their death and stop thinking of the beauty of the world and their own lives. Of course, death is something which means the end of our existence, which is very sad. At the same time, it is inevitable and, hence, people should not think about it as something depressing. People should focus on their lives and live to the fullest to bring as much meaning to their life as they can.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that Delillo’s novel can help lots of people find an answer to an important question concerning the death. Winnie, who is a scientist and utilizes analytical approach to everything, provides his own response, which proves to be clear and sane. People have to accept their death as something inevitable and ordinary. They should see death as any other law of nature. Fear of death can only damage people’s lives as they start lamenting instead of living their lives to the fullest.

Of course, this is the choice of every person, but Delillo shows that these choices can lead to different situations in people’s lives. These choices can even bring their death closer. Therefore, it is essential to focus on meaningful things and try to make the world better in different ways.

Works Cited

Delillo, Don. White Noise. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2011. Print.

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