White Noise

This Is Your Brain on Technology: Don DeLillo’s White Noise College

In DeLillo’s White Noise the new-found abundance of technology enters into human lives to create constant distractions and background noises. The protagonist, Jack, often refers to the television as the ‘voice’ from the other room. In the supermarket, the loudspeaker drowns out conversations between shoppers. Technology is seen as a presence and a character that interrupts human life and conversation in the novel, and with the average American family watching 6.12 hours of television daily (Rue), the television in turn disrupts a majority of actual American family lives. When the television set becomes an inanimate, extra family member, its purpose ends up being to capitalize on people’s suffering and to draw family members away from each other.

In today’s fast-paced culture, there are several distractions that cause distance between family members, and people in general. Especially in a capitalist culture, most people are driven to have the highest education, the most successful career, and the most luxurious goods. With motivations such as these, traditional values such as marriage and family get somewhat swept under the rug, and stress is abundant in everyone‘s life. When another distraction comes into the family, the...

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