The Consumer Society of Don DeLillo's White Noise from the Viewpoint of Jean Baudrillard

Zahra Sadat Ismailinejad, Farideh Pourgiv


The present paper tries to analyze Don DeLillo's White Noise based on Baudrillard's notion of the consumer society. To do this, the researcher recourses to Baudrillard's book The Consumer Society: Its Myth and Structure to discuss the major tenants of today's consumer society. Although consumption is vital for human beings to continue their lives, Baudrillard is concerned about the excessive consumption which is now turning into a disease in the contemporary world. Giant corporations create false needs in the consumers and advertising agencies are in fact the best tools to further promote the sales of consuming objects. This study indicates how Baudrillard's philosophical ideas are manifested literally by Don DeLillo as he depicts an imaginary urban society affected by excessive consumption and advertisement. In this postmodern society, people are haunted by fear of death and decay. So, as a defense mechanism, they resort to consumption as a strategy to cope with their fear of death to give meaning to their daily life. Here, the focus is on exposing certain characteristics of consumer society along with an eye on the role of advertisement to foster irrepressible desire to consume as a means of gaining satisfaction while it only leads to ambivalent feelings in the consumers.


Key Words: Don DeLillo; Jean Baudrillard; Advertisement; Consumer Society.

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