Literature Study GuidesWhite NoisePart 3 Chapters 30 32 Summary

White Noise | Study Guide

Don DeLillo

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White Noise | Part 3, Chapters 30–32 : Dylarama | Summary



Part 3, Chapters 30–31

One night Jack Gladney can't sleep, and he wakes up Babette to talk. He tells her he wants access to Mr. Gray. He wants to see if he would qualify as a research subject, but Babette Gladney is worried Jack is going to try to kill him. She tells him to forget about Mr. Gray and the Dylar. The next day, the family drives to a take-out restaurant and eats dinner in the car while debating facts and information.

Part 3, Chapter 32

On campus, Jack stares out the window, searching for Winnie Richards. He finally sees her in the distance, and runs after her. He catches up with her while she watches the sunset, and he asks her if she remembers the pill she gave him to test. He tells her he found out what it was for, and that he is trying to find those who research the drug. She tells him she thinks Dylar is a bad idea, and that people are supposed to fear death, as it is natural and gives meaning to life.


Jack Gladney's obsession with Dylar and Mr. Gray continues to grow, propelling his actions and the plot forward. Winnie Richards's advice to him provides yet another counterpoint to Jack's fear of death—fear is necessary, and finding the drug and Mr. Gray will likely solve none of Jack's problems. She asks him, "isn't death the boundary we need?" Her argument is that fear of death makes life more meaningful because each moment we are alive feels precious. Winnie's viewpoint is by far the most optimistic in the novel, but Jack doesn't seem able to consider it, much in the same way he can't understand Orest Mercator's motivations for confronting death.

The scene in the car with Jack's family is yet another moment in the book in which everyone seems confused by the wealth of facts and information they are bombarded with through television and radio. In many ways, those bits of information are part of the "white noise" of the novel, hard to decode and decipher out of context. It lends an air of chaos to the family's dialogues, with each person disputing another's facts with contradicting information. Nobody seems to have power over the information—rather, it has power over them.

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