Doctors as Authority Figures in White Noise
In the novel White Noise, written by Don DeLillo, the Gladney family often succumbs to the supposed authority and superior knowledge of doctors. The Gladneys are extremely intimidated by the doctors and they feel as though the physicians are all-knowing and hold some kind of dominant power over them. Particularly, Jack is affected by the authority of the doctors after the "airborne toxic event" and his exposure to Nyodene Derivative. Out of the entire Gladney family, Jack shows the worst fear of the doctors and especially a fear of the information they retain. Because of this high authority, the doctors can make Jack feel uneducated and helpless, and feel as though his life hangs on every word the doctor says.
During the scene in which Wilder cries incessantly and for no apparent reason, Jack and Babette decide to bring the crying boy to the doctor's office in order to find out what could possibly be wrong with him. Just the thought of going to a doctor's office causes Jack and Babette to panic. Jack and Babette attempt to prepare for the visit and they, "tried to remember what he'd eaten in the last twenty-four hours, anticipated questions the doctor would ask and rehearsed the answers...
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