White Noise

Jack Gladney Character Analysis

Jack is the protagonist and narrator of White Noise. A middle-aged professor at the College-on-the-Hill and a multi-divorcé, he is intelligent and unimposing, a curious man willing to engage in thoughtful conversation. He is a notable figure in Hitler Studies, an academic field he founded in the ’60s when he suggested that the college build an entire department around the life and history of Hitler. Despite his thorough knowledge of Nazi Germany, though, he does not speak German, a shameful secret he hopes his colleagues will never discover. In fact, Jack’s entire campus persona is markedly different than the easygoing air he adopts at home, where he lives with his wife Babette and four children, two of whom (Heinrich and Steffie) are his own. On campus Jack is powerful and authoritative, making sure to wear thick, dark glasses and affecting a professorial austerity. Despite his even-keeled temperament and powerful presence, though, he harbors strong existential anxieties, the most prominent of which is an acute fear of death. This fear is only exacerbated by his exposure to a potentially toxic chemical and the battery of medical testing he must undergo in the aftermath, as well as his discovery that his wife Babette is also irrationally afraid of dying, a topic they jointly obsess over during long late-night conversations in their bedroom.

Jack Gladney Quotes in White Noise

The White Noise quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Gladney or refer to Jack Gladney. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fear, Death, and Control Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of White Noise published in 2009.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Babette and I do our talking in the kitchen. The kitchen and the bedroom are the major chambers around here, the power haunts, the sources. She and I are alike in this, that we regard the rest of the house as storage space for furniture, toys, all the unused objects of earlier marriages and different sets of children, the gifts of lost in-laws, the hand-me-downs and rummages. Things, boxes. Why do these possessions carry such sorrowful weight? There is a darkness attached to them, a foreboding. They make me wary not of personal failure and defeat but of something more general, something large in scope and content.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

Who will die first?

This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys. It ends a sentence, prolongs a glance between us. I wonder if the thought itself is part of the nature of physical love, a reverse Darwinism that awards sadness and fear to the survivor. Or is it some inert element in the air we breathe, a rare thing like neon, with a melting point, an atomic weight?

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

Our senses? Our senses are wrong a lot more often than they’re right. This has been proved in the laboratory. Don’t you know about all those theorems that say nothing is what it seems?

Related Characters: Heinrich (speaker), Jack Gladney
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

Most of her students are old. It isn’t clear to me why they want to improve their posture. We seem to believe it is possible to ward off death by following rules of good grooming. Sometimes I go with my wife to the church basement and watch her stand, turn, assume various heroic poses, gesture gracefully. She makes references to yoga, kendo, trance-walking. She talks of Sufi dervishes, Sherpa mountaineers. The old folks nod and listen. Nothing is foreign, nothing too remote to apply. I am always surprised at their acceptance and trust, the sweetness of their belief. Nothing is too doubtful to be of use to them as they seek to redeem their bodies from a lifetime of bad posture. It is the end of skepticism.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Love helps us develop an identity secure enough to allow itself to be placed in another’s care and protection. Babette and I have turned our lives for each other’s thoughtful regard, turned them in the moonlight in our pale hands, spoken deep into the night about fathers and mothers, childhood, friendships, awakenings, old loves, old fears (except fear of death). No detail must be left out, not even a dog with ticks or a neighbor’s boy who ate an insect on a dare.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

Everything is concealed in symbolism, hidden by veils of mystery and layers of cultural material. But it is psychic data, absolutely. The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. Energy waves, incident radiation. All the letters and numbers are here, all the colors of the spectrum, all the voices and sounds, all the code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering, rearranging, peeling off the layers of unspeakability. Not that we would want to, not that any useful purpose would be served.

Related Characters: Murray Jay Siskin (speaker), Jack Gladney, Babette
Related Symbols: The Supermarket
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

Who knows what I want to do? Who knows what anyone wants to do? How can you be sure about something like that? Isn’t it all a question of brain chemistry, signals going back and forth, electrical energy in the cortex? How do you know whether something is really what you want to do or just some kind of nerve impulse in the brain? […] It’s all this activity in the brain and you don’t know what’s you as a person and what’s some neuron that just happens to fire or just happens to misfire. Isn’t that why Tommy Roy killed those people?

Related Characters: Heinrich (speaker), Jack Gladney, Janet Savory, Tommy Roy Foster
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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In the morning I walked to the bank. I went to the automated teller machine to check my balance. I inserted my card, entered my secret code, tapped out my request. The figure on the screen roughly corresponded to my independent estimate, feebly arrived at after long searches through documents, tormented arithmetic. Waves of relief and gratitude flowed over me. The system had blessed my life. I felt its support and approval. The system hardware, the mainframe sitting in a locked room in some distant city. What a pleasing interaction. I sensed that something of deep personal value, but not money, not that at all, had been authenticated and confirmed. […] The system was invisible, all the more disquieting to deal with. But we were in accord, at least for now. The networks, the circuits, the streams, the harmonies.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

[…] I’ve been sitting in this room for more than two months, watching TV into the early hours, listening carefully, taking notes. A great and humbling experience, let me tell you. Close to mystical. […] I’ve come to understand that the medium is a primal force in the American home. Sealed-off, timeless, self-contained, self-referring. It’s like a myth being born right there in our living room, like something we know in a dreamlike and preconscious way.

Related Characters: Murray Jay Siskin (speaker), Jack Gladney, Babette
Related Symbols: Television
Page Number: 50-1
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

All this time she’d been turned away from me. There were plot potentials in this situation, chances for people to make devious maneuvers, secret plans.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette, Denise
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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[…] it’s not a question of greatness. It’s not a question of good and evil. I don’t know what it is. Look at it this way. Some people always wear a favorite color. Some people carry a gun. Some people put on a uniform and feel bigger, stronger, safer. It’s in this area that my obsessions dwell.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette, Denise
Related Symbols: Hitler
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

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Words, pictures, numbers, facts, graphics, statistics, specks, waves, particles, motes. Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes, mass killings, et cetera. We can relax and enjoy these disasters because in our hearts we feel that California deserves what it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.

Related Characters: Alfonse Stampanato (speaker), Jack Gladney, Murray Jay Siskin
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

We looked at each other. Behind that dopey countenance, a complex intelligence operated. […] The inconsolable crying went on. I let it wash over me, like rain in sheets. I entered it, in a sense. I let it fall and tumble across my face and chest. I began to think he had disappeared inside this wailing noise and if I could join him in his lost and suspended place we might together perform some reckless wonder of intelligibility. I let it break across my body. It might not be so terrible, I thought, to have to sit here for four more hours, with the motor running and the heater on, listening to this uniform lament.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Wilder
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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We were halfway home when the crying stopped. It stopped suddenly, without a change in tone and intensity. Babette said nothing, I kept my eyes on the road. He sat between us, looking into the radio. I waited for Babette to glance at me behind his back, over his head, to show relief, happiness, hopeful suspense. I didn’t know how I felt and wanted a clue. But she looked straight ahead as if fearful that any change in the sensitive texture of sound, movement, expression would cause the crying to break out again.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Babette, Wilder
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes

Certain elements in the crew had decided to pretend that it was not a crash but a crash landing that was seconds away. After all, the difference between the two is only one word. Didn’t this suggest that the two forms of flight termination were more or less interchangeable? How much could one word matter? An encouraging question under the circumstances, if you didn’t think about it too long, and there was no time to think right now. The basic difference between a crash and a crash landing seemed to be that you could sensibly prepare for a crash landing, which is exactly what they were trying to do.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 21 Quotes

It seems that danger assigns to public voices the responsibility of a rhythm, as if in metrical units there is a coherence we can use to balance whatever senseless and furious event is about to come rushing around our heads. […] What people in an exodus fear most immediately is that those in positions of authority will long since have fled, leaving us in charge of our own chaos.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

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Could a nine-year-old girl suffer a miscarriage due to the power of suggestion? Would she have to be pregnant first? Could the power of suggestion be strong enough to work backward in this manner, from miscarriage to pregnancy to menstruation to ovulation? Which comes first, menstruation or ovulation? Are we talking about mere symptoms or deeply entrenched conditions? Is a symptom a sign or a thing? What is a thing and how do we know it’s not another thing?

I turned off the radio, not to help me think but to keep me from thinking.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Steffie
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:

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Our fear was accompanied by a sense of awe that bordered on the religious. It is surely possible to be awed by the thing that threatens your life, to see it as a cosmic force, so much larger than yourself, more powerful, created by elemental and willful rhythms. This was a death made in the laboratory, defined and measurable, but we thought of it at the time in a simple and primitive way, as some seasonal perversity of the earth like a flood or tornado, something not subject to control. Our helplessness did not seem compatible with the idea of a man-made event.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 27 Quotes

The more we rehearse disaster, the safer we’ll be from the real thing. Life seems to work that way, doesn’t it? […] If reality intrudes in the form of a car crash or a victim falling off a stretcher, it is important to remember that we are not here to mend broken bones or put out real fires. We are here to simulate.

Related Characters: SIMUVAC Leader (speaker), Jack Gladney, Steffie
Page Number: 195-6
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 29  Quotes

The sense of failed expectations was total. A sadness and emptiness hung over the scene. A dejection, a sorry gloom. We felt it ourselves, my son and I, quietly watching. It was in the room, seeping into the air from pulsing streams of electrons. The reporter seemed at first merely apologetic. But as he continued to discuss the absence of mass graves, he grew increasingly forlorn, gesturing at the diggers, shaking his head, almost ready to plead with us for sympathy and understanding.

I tried not to feel disappointed.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Related Symbols: Television
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 30 Quotes

[…] I think it’s a mistake to lose one’s sense of death, even one’s fear of death. Isn’t death the boundary we need? Doesn’t it give a precious texture to life, a sense of definition? You have to ask yourself whether anything you do in this life would have beauty and meaning without the knowledge you carry of a final line, a border or limit.

Related Characters: Winnie Richards (speaker), Jack Gladney
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 31 Quotes

We all got in the car and went out to the commercial strip in the no man’s land beyond the town boundary. The never-ending neon. I pulled in at a place that specialized in chicken parts and brownies. We decided to eat in the car. The car was sufficient for our needs. We wanted to eat, not look around at other people. We wanted to fill our stomachs and get it over with. We didn’t need light and space. We certainly didn’t need to face each other across a table as we ate, building a subtle and complex cross-network of signals and codes. We were content to eat facing in the same direction, looking only inches past our hands.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker)
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 33 Quotes

He would be Death, or death’s errand-runner, a hollow-eyed technician from the plague era, from the era of inquisitions, endless wars, of bedlams and leporsariums. He would be an aphorist of last thing, giving me the barest glance—civilized, ironic—as he spoke his deft and stylish line about my journey out. I watched for a long time, waiting for him to move a hand. His stillness was commanding. I felt myself getting whiter by the second. What does it mean to become white? How does it feel to see Death in the flesh, come to gather you in? I was scared to the marrow. […] So much remained. Every word and thing a beadwork of bright creation. My own plain hand, crosshatched and whorled in a mesh of expressive lines, a life terrain, might itself be the object of a person’s study and wonder for years. A cosmology against the void.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Vernon Dickey
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 39 Quotes

There was something redemptive here. Dragging him foot-first across the tile, across the medicated carpet, through the door and into the night. Something large and grand and scenic. Is it better to commit evil and attempt to balance it with an exalted act than to live a resolutely neutral life? I know I felt virtuous, I felt blood-stained and stately, dragging the badly wounded man through the dark and empty street.

Related Characters: Jack Gladney (speaker), Willie Mink (Mr. Gray)
Page Number: 299
Explanation and Analysis:

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Our pretense is dedication. Someone must appear to believe. Our lives are no less serious than if we professed real faith, real belief. As belief shrinks from the world, people find it more necessary than ever that someone believe. Wild-eyed men in caves. Nuns in black. Monks who do not speak. We are left to believe. […] Hell is when no one believes. There must always be believers.

Related Characters: Sister Hermann Marie (speaker), Jack Gladney
Page Number: 304
Explanation and Analysis:

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Jack Gladney Character Timeline in White Noise

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Gladney appears in White Noise. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Consumer Culture and Identity Theme Icon
From his office, Jack Gladney surveys the campus of the College-on-the-Hill, watching a long line of station wagons arriving... (full context)
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Leaving his office, Jack walks down the hill and into the town of Blacksmith, which boasts Greek revival and... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Arriving home after watching the students arrive on campus, Jack tells Babette that she has once again missed the fantastic spectacle. She tells him that... (full context)
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Jack and Babette’s home is cozily cluttered with toys and “the unused objects of earlier marriages... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Jack describes how he and Babette often talk about which one of them will die first.... (full context)
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All department heads at the College-on-the-Hill wear academic robes, a formality Jack loves because of the powerful elegance it lends his gestures. Because there is no building... (full context)
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Several days after their lunch, Jack and Murray visit a barn outside of Blacksmith that is advertised as THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Jack describes how, when he founded the Hitler Studies department in 1968, his superior (whom he... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Jack confides that he often wakes up in the middle of the night, seized by terror... (full context)
Chapter 6
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While driving his fourteen-year-old son, Heinrich, to school one day, Jack finds himself trapped in a circuitous debate about whether or not it is raining. Heinrich... (full context)
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Later that day, as his students enter the classroom, Jack arranges himself in a pose he thinks communicates professorial authority. Toward the end of the... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...has finished teaching a class on correct posture in a nearby Congregational church, she and Jack lounge in bed, asking each other what they each want sexually. They determine that Babette... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Despite the fact that Jack is the head of the Hitler Studies department, he doesn’t speak a word of German.... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Jack and Babette go with Denise, Steffie, and Wilder to the supermarket. Again, they bump into... (full context)
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When Jack and Steffie rejoin Babette and Murray, Murray is excitedly extolling the symbolic virtue of the... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Meanwhile, Jack goes upstairs to find Heinrich deliberating over his next move in a chess game he’s... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Jack and Babette go to Murray’s boarding room for dinner. Murray tells them that he’s interested... (full context)
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On the walk back from having dinner at Murray’s, Babette asks Jack if her memory is truly as bad as Denise makes it sound. He tells her... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Returning from his German lessons, Jack finds Babette’s ex-husband, Bob Pardee, in the kitchen. Bob, who is Denise’s biological father, wants... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Babette calls Jack at his office to tell him that Heinrich was down at the river during the... (full context)
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Before finding the Treadwells, Jack explains, the police consulted a local psychic named Adele T., who, after performing various rituals,... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...completely absorbed by footage of floods, earthquakes, mud slides, and volcanic eruptions. The following Monday, Jack has lunch with Murray and a group of the American Environments New York émigrés, who... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Because Murray is having trouble establishing his authority over Elvis in the American Environments department, Jack visits one of his lectures as a way of using his institutional power to help... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...afternoon and doesn’t stop for almost seven hours. He sobs so intensely that Babette, at Jack’s suggestion, takes him to the doctor, who tells her to give the child an aspirin... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Jack runs into a colleague at the hardware store. Because he isn’t on campus, he’s not... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Jack goes to the airport in Iron City to pick up his daughter Bee, who is... (full context)
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...plane lands, a number of passengers from another flight arrive looking haggard and disturbed. When Jack asks what happened, one of the passengers tells him that the plane’s engines failed, resulting... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Bee’s presence gives the family a certain double-consciousness. Jack feels that he can’t help but see the family’s routines through her eyes and he... (full context)
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After Christmas, Jack drops Bee off at the airport again. On his way back, he gets off of... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Reading the obituaries, Jack learns that Gladys Treadwell has died from a case of “lingering dread” after her traumatic... (full context)
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Although Jack and Babette constantly volley back and forth in their argument about who should be the... (full context)
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...it seems, is being televised by the local cable station. Though the others are excited, Jack is strangely disconcerted by the image of his wife suddenly appearing out of context like... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Approaching his house on foot one snowy day, Jack sees Heinrich perched on a ledge outside the attic looking east through binoculars. Going up... (full context)
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...once more in the attic, this time with a radio and a map. He tells Jack that radio broadcasters have started calling the cloud a “feathery plume” and that it is... (full context)
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...Babette hears from a neighbor that the tank car spilled 35,000 gallons. She also tells Jack and Heinrich that Steffie and Denise have been complaining about having sweaty palms. “There’s been... (full context)
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While paying the bills, Jack talks to Denise, who tells him that the emergency responders are using snow blowers to... (full context)
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Jack goes back to the attic and talks to Heinrich, who tells him that the radio... (full context)
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...the way” in case the airborne toxic event gets worse and they need to leave. Jack and Babette refuse to confirm this logic, and the family goes on eating while a... (full context)
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As the family drives through the snow on a crowded four-lane road, Jack tries to find a radio station that might provide some extra information. He discovers that... (full context)
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Out of the corner of his eye, Jack sees Babette put something in her mouth. When he asks her what it is, she... (full context)
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...car crash, Steffie declares that she’s seen all of this before, a statement that worries Jack because he was pretty sure she hadn’t heard the latest symptoms of Nyodene D. What’s... (full context)
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...toxic event, spreading secondhand information and making guesses. Moving from one crowd to the next, Jack is surprised to find Heinrich at the center of one such crowd, talking in great... (full context)
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Jack returns to the section of cots his family has claimed. Speaking softly to Babette, he... (full context)
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Jack tells the SIMUVAC technician about his medical history, which the technician inputs into a computer.... (full context)
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When Jack returns to the cots, he sees that Babette is reading to Old Man Treadwell and... (full context)
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Deciding to get some air, Jack goes outside, where he finds Murray talking to a group of prostitutes. He tells his... (full context)
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Jack comes back inside and watches Steffie sleeping, an act that makes him feel reassured and... (full context)
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...and once more drive through the commotion of people trying to run from the cloud. Jack spots a truck with a bumper sticker that reads GUN CONTROL IS MIND CONTROL and... (full context)
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Driving through a small creek and into a field, Jack notices his family’s lack of interest in the entire situation. He wants them to focus... (full context)
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...into the cloud to release microorganisms that will eat the toxic agents of Nyodene D. Jack finds this as confounding and amazing as the absurd articles Babette read the previous night... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...the second semester begins, life seems to more or less go back to normal, though Jack notices that the sunsets—which were already quite stunning in Blacksmith—have taken on new qualities, have... (full context)
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Jack decides to not tell Babette about what he learned from the SIMUVAC technician about his... (full context)
Chapter 24
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The next night, as he’s trying to fix the radiator, Jack finds a bottle of a medication called Dylar taped to the underside of its lid.... (full context)
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Walking down the hall, Jack sees Heinrich hanging from a chin-up bar. Heinrich tells him that the bar belongs to... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Jack takes a Dylar pill to Winnie Richards, a brilliant neurochemist who is difficult to track... (full context)
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Jack catches up to Winnie again after having trouble finding her and chasing her through campus.... (full context)
Chapter 26
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In bed that night, Jack confronts Babette once more, this time refusing to be sidetracked. She reluctantly tells him that... (full context)
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Continuing with her story, Babette tells Jack that she went searching for a way to understand her problem, visiting libraries, reading magazines,... (full context)
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Dylar, Babette tells Jack, has many related dangers and side effects. Mr. Gray told her that she could die,... (full context)
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Babette carries on with her explanation, informing Jack that she went to Mr. Gray’s seedy motel and had sex with him in exchange... (full context)
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Dylar was designed, Babette explains, to eliminate the human fear of death. She tells Jack that she learned from Mr. Gray that “everything that goes on in your whole life... (full context)
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Jack takes this opportunity to tell Babette about his exposure to Nyodene D. and the possible... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Jack goes for his second medical examination since the airborne toxic event. On his way back,... (full context)
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In the kitchen, Jack and Babette treat one another gently, asking one another how they’re feeling. This has been... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Life continues for the Gladneys as normal, though Jack’s misgivings about Babette’s deception continue to affect him. Still, they continue asking each other how... (full context)
Chapter 29 
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In the grocery store, Babette suggests to Jack that he should schedule a checkup with his doctor. He tells her that he’s already... (full context)
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...After digging up the entire yard, though, investigators find nothing else, a fact that leaves Jack feeling strangely disappointed. (full context)
Chapter 30
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In the middle of the night, Jack wakes Babette up and tells her that she must tell him about Mr. Gray. She... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Time passes. Jack and Babette continue to check in with one another. The family indulges an epic fried... (full context)
Chapter 32 
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Jack and Murray take a walk on campus. They start talking about Jack’s German instructor, Dunlop,... (full context)
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The insane asylum catches fire one night, and Jack and Heinrich go to watch it burn. They find other father-son pairs standing alongside them,... (full context)
Chapter 33
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While sleeping, Jack senses a presence. He opens his eyes to find Wilder standing inches from his face,... (full context)
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When he finally ventures outside, Jack discovers that the figure sitting in his backyard is not death, but Vernon Dickey, Babette’s... (full context)
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Denise catches Jack rummaging through her things one night while she’s sleeping. She tells him that she knows... (full context)
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Simultaneously disappointed and a bit relieved, Jack leaves Denise’s room and goes downstairs to find Vernon sitting at the kitchen table. “Just... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Jack goes to another checkup, and this time Dr. Chakravarty tells him that his potassium levels... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...with Wilder, which is the only activity that seems to alleviate her fear of death. Jack can’t get his mind off of Mr. Gray, but Babette continues to withhold the man’s... (full context)
Chapter 36
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In the late spring, the Hitler conference takes place. Jack manages to make his opening remarks in stilted German, but he spends the rest of... (full context)
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Jack goes to Autumn Harvest Farms for his tests. He is seated in front of computer,... (full context)
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The young man from Autumn Harvest Farms tells Jack that he will ask him some questions while looking at the printout results of his... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Murray and Jack go on a very long walk, focusing their discussion primarily on Jack’s fear of death.... (full context)
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Jack and Murray’s discussion of murder as a form of rebirth leads them to examine the... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Jack starts carrying the handgun with him to school. He puts it in his jacket pocket... (full context)
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Stopping by Heinrich’s room, Jack asks if Orest has entered the snake cage yet. Heinrich tells him that “he had... (full context)
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On campus that evening, Jack hears fast footsteps. Skittish, he starts to run. He dashes behind a tree, whipping himself... (full context)
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Jack goes home and steals his neighbors’ car, which, since the airborne toxic event, they started... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Upon finding Willie Mink’s motel, Jack devises a plan to locate the man, “shoot him three times in the viscera for... (full context)
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Jack locates Mink’s motel room and opens the door without knocking. Mink is sitting in a... (full context)
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After several minutes of strange and confusing conversation (in which, at various points, Jack asks about the nature of fearing death and Mink admits to his agreement with Babette),... (full context)
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Once in the car, Mink asks Jack who shot him. “You did,” Jack replies. “Who shot you?” asks Mink. “You did. The... (full context)
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Before he leaves, Jack learns from the doctor that Willie Mink will survive. He then drives his neighbors’ car... (full context)
Chapter 40
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That same day, Jack and Babette learn from two old women who watched it unfold that Wilder took his... (full context)
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In the book’s final passages, Jack notes that the men in Mylex are still in town “gathering their terrible data, aiming... (full context)