Literature Study GuidesWhite NoisePart 3 Chapters 27 29 Summary

White Noise | Study Guide

Don DeLillo

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White Noise | Part 3, Chapters 27–29 : Dylarama | Summary



Part 3, Chapter 27

Jack Gladney goes for his second medical checkup since the toxic event, but his numbers are normal. On his way home, he sees the street full of emergency vehicles and bodies in the street, but soon realizes it is only a SIMUVAC exercise. Jack gets out of his car and walks around, observing the scene, and is surprised to see Steffie playing one of the victims. Back at home, Heinrich is waiting outside with his friend Orest Mercator, having volunteered to be a street captain during the simulation. Jack quizzes Orest on his wish to win the Guinness record for sitting in a cage full of deadly snakes.

Back inside, Jack asks Babette Gladney what she did with the rest of the Dylar, and she says she didn't know it was missing. She tells Jack to forget about it, and that they should just move on with their lives and put it behind them. Jack leaves to pick up Denise at school, and he tells her Babette took the Dylar to improve her memory. Denise says she doesn't believe him, and Jack tells her he thinks she is the one who took the bottle. She tells Jack that when someone tells her the truth about what it really is, she'll give the bottle back.

Part 3, Chapter 28

Steffie returns from the simulated evacuation, and she and Jack discuss the possibility of her visiting her mother, Dana Breedlove, over the Easter holiday. Dana worked for the CIA, and Jack notes the odd coincidence that two of his other wives also have connections to espionage. In a way, this is what drew him to Babette: they had no secrets, at least until the Dylar and her affair.

Part 3, Chapter 29

At the college lunchroom, Jack sits at a table where a group of professors discuss topics such as spitting in soda as a kid to keep others from drinking it, and when they first realized their "father was a jerk." Outside he meets Murray Siskind, and they discuss his seminar on car crashes in films. He says he tells his students to "look past the violence" to see a "spirit of innocence and fun."


The simulated evacuation brings back memories of the real-life airborne toxic event and blurs the boundaries of what is real and what is simulated. During the airborne toxic event, the simulators studied the event in order to improve their simulations, with one of their clerks even giving Jack Gladney his exposure prognosis, which seems absurd. Their logic seems to be that the more prepared they are for disaster, the less likely they are to be struck by one. The SIMUVAC coordinator instructs the volunteers not to let reality get in the way of their simulation, which makes it seem as though the simulation is more important than real life.

The satire of college intellectualism continues as the professors discuss trivial topics, and Murray Siskind not only teaches a ridiculous topic but spouts a ridiculous theory about it.

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