Analysis Of ' White Noise ' By Don Delillo Uses Babette 's Moral Ambiguity

Decent Essays

Kevin Wang
AP Literature
August 25, 2014
Fox News Equals Media Equals Fear of Death Equals Adultery Malcolm X once said “The media 's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that 's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” The media reaches out to all places and affects everyone. It changes how we think and what we do. In the novel White Noise, Don Delillo uses Babette’s moral ambiguity, conveyed through her decisions and actions, to reveal the influence that media has on the internal conflict between one’s self interest and morality.
Within everyone, there exists a constant friction between one’s self interest and morality. At first, Babette emerges as a caring and honest character. Described by Jack as “a gift-bearer of great things as the world generally reckons them” (5), Babette does acts of charity in her free time. A few of her pastimes are “[gathering] and [tending] the children, [teaching] a course in an adult education program” (5) and she also “reads to an elderly [blind] man… from the [tabloids]” (5). Babette’s honesty and sincerity is made more apparent by her foils, Jack Gladney’s past wives. Her physique, described as being slightly overweight with a head full of messy hair, further helps her appear amiable and likeable. However, a closer look at Babette’s intentions reveals her neutral personality. She “reads to [the] elderly man” because “why deny him?”. In

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