White Noise Questions and Answers
by Don DeLillo

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How does White Noise reflect the landscape of American pop culture today? How does DeLillo poke fun at American education?

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Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise serves as a scathing commentary on American culture, particularly its rampant consumerism. DeLillo fills his novel with an endless litany of brand-name products which serves to illuminate just how ubiquitous and insidious commercialism has become in daily life. Satirizing American pop culture of the 1980s, DeLillo shows how commercialism influences every aspect of American life, supplanting any trace of originality with superficiality.

The novel also skewers the world of academia by presenting the protagonist , Jack, a professor at the local college, as pompous and self-serious. Jack has created a new department at the College-on-the-Hill focused on “Hitler studies” and brags in chapter 1 that “I invented Hitler studies in North America in March of 1968.” That Jack has created an absurd and exploitative new department, oblivious to the moral conundrum it should raise, seems a...

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