In chapter one, what does Don DeLillo do work with the language to point out a certain message?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that DeLillo's employment of language to bring about the sense and almost surreal nature of death is part of the thematic purpose of the text.  The fact that the subject of the text is almost a transient through this surreal setting enhances how death is understood in the context of the novel.  The reality of death is something that envelops the man.  There is destruction and charred remains around him.  There is a sense of disarray covering his sight.  While he tries to convince himself that he is alive, the landscape of death is all that he sees.  I think that these ideas in the first chapter help to bring out the condition of death that was such a part of the canvass of the September 11 attacks.  This feeling, in terms of living amongst death, is something that is relevant in the first chapter.  It is seen in different points and ideas in the text.  The entire condition of being "falling man" is being trapped liminally between the world of life and death.  Experiencing the former in the condition of the latter, and in this, the first chapter's perceptions heighten the sensibility of the thematic narrative.

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