Death Advantages vs Disadvantages

Topics: Fear, Don DeLillo, Anxiety Pages: 3 (1225 words) Published: February 3, 2011
Death can be taken as an advantage or disadvantage, a blessing or a curse. It is an advantage or blessing as one is aware of his approaching death and can prepare himself for it. It is a disadvantage or a curse as since one is aware of approaching death, he realizes that human existence is pointless, which makes him unhappy, anxious and anguished. Among other things, Don DeLillo seems completely preoccupied with death and the difficult task of living with the knowledge of death in his novel White Noise. Rather than discuss the unavoidable mortality that connects all humankind with broad, generalized strokes, DeLillo is concerned with the particular late 20th century cultural and psychological mechanisms that attempt to define the unclear relationship between self and death.  Perhaps, the character most responsive to death is Jack Gladney. Jack is so consumed by his fear of death that his ordinary thought processes are often interrupted by the question: “Who will die first” (DeLillo 15)? In Jack’s mind: “This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys” (DeLillo 15). Jack finds the aura of death to be very noticeable and real, and he relies on his consumer lifestyle as an escape from his fear of death. DeLillo uses Hitler to as a major component of his theme, death. Hitler has lived on past his death through the media. He lives because the Holocaust is probably the most tragic event in the history of the earth. In the novel Jack is obsessed with Hitler’s ability to live forever, Hitler’s power, Hitler’s self confidence, and the aura that surrounded Hitler and still surrounds Hitler. Jack is the total opposite of Hitler in the novel. He is terrified of death, has no power over anything in his life, and has zero self confidence. Jack has no way to capture these things, but through Hitler. Jack is a character with a major identity problem; Jack has no idea about who he is.

No matter if a person is rich or poor, smart or foolish;...
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