White Noise

Sister Hermann Marie Character Analysis

The German nun who treats Jack’s bullet wound in the Pentecostal hospital in Iron City. In the course of tending to his wrist, she reveals to Jack that she doesn’t actually believe in God, arguing that it is enough for others to think that she believes so that they don’t have to do so themselves.

Sister Hermann Marie Quotes in White Noise

The White Noise quotes below are all either spoken by Sister Hermann Marie or refer to Sister Hermann Marie. 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 39 Quotes

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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Sister Hermann Marie Character Timeline in White Noise

The timeline below shows where the character Sister Hermann Marie appears in White Noise. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 39
Fear, Death, and Control Theme Icon
Uncertainty and Authority Theme Icon
...the entrance. Inside, German nuns treat both of their wounds. Jack is cared for by Sister Hermann Marie , to whom he tries to show off his knowledge of the German language, pointing... (full context)