The Rejection of Basic Assumptions

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The Rejection of Basic Assumptions
America is a capitalist society that is driven by money and ultimately consumerism. The world we live in is preoccupied with petty self-interest and products that offer a false sense of identity. The media and other members of society tell us to buy more things in order  to become more satisfied and fulfilled in life, while our conscience motivates us to become less materialistic. Thus, this battle between societal influence and our minds creates constant discord, which leads to confusion. Many examples of this confusion are seen in both the novel “White Noise”, by Don DeLillo, and the film “Fight Club”, directed by David Fincher. Jack Gladney in “White Noise” is a middle-aged college professor who is proud of his title as head of the “Hitler Department” as well as insecure in his normal, boring life. The main protagonist in “Fight Club”, played by Edward Norton, has many of the same personality defects that Jack has, and displays the typical white-collar worker on the brim of plummeting into a mid-life-crisis. In each of these stories the main characters are confused about their own identity which causes them to turn towards consumerism for comfort and reassurance. The great bout of consumerism all begins with insecurity. In “White Noise” Jack Gladney finds security in his academic robe and dark scholarly glasses. Several times throughout the story Jack wishes he had them when he comes across an uncomfortable or awkward situation. Coincidentally he runs into a colleague at a hardware store in his every day clothing. For once Jack was being viewed by someone without his Hitler aura surrounding him. The colleague took notice of this and mentioned his difference in appearance and said, “you look so harmless, Jack. A big, harmless, aging, indistinct sort of guy” (DeLillo 83). After this encounter we can feel Jack shriveling up inside as he hurries out the door. When faced with an evaluation of his true self Jack runs. The glasses...
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