White Noise, a book about the influence of fear on human life, focuses on small everyday worries, as well as deep, existential crises. The novel’s most prominent manifestation of fear is the characters’ hopeless quest to control their own mortality: frightfully obsessing over their health, jogging up and down stadium steps, reading food labels with a dire sense of dread, and carefully considering the physical effects of chemicals with which they may have come…(read full theme analysis)
Jack is fascinated by history and conspiracy and the relationship of both to death. Through these fascinations with plots and history, he seeks new ways to clarify, define, and eke meaning out of his existence, hoping to alleviate the banal but overwhelming existential anxiety from which he suffers.
When a student asks him in class about the plot to kill Hitler, he says, “All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of…(read full theme analysis)