`` Videotape `` By Don Delillo : A Cynical, Social Commentary On The Overexposure Of Heinous Acts

1508 WordsOct 28, 20167 Pages
Don DeLillo’s short story, “Videotape” presents a cynical, social commentary on the overexposure of heinous acts by means of new media outlets, such as the videotape, which contributes to the commercialization of tragedy for viewers and the resulting desensitization of the public that occurs. The story is focused on one of many homicides committed by the Texas Highway Killer, which has coincidentally been recorded by an unknown 12-year-old girl playing with a video camera in the back of her family’s car. The events are presented in a conversational tone in the second-person, layering in an additional narrative frame of a hypothetical and cynical “every-man” and his wife, responding to the incident. This parallels the viewpoints of society without making broad assumptions and allows the reader to interpret the framework that DeLillo constructs without having it stated outright. In addition, the presentation, reaction, and consumption of news of the homicide is entwined with the narrative as it occurs, and the author explores each of these – the use and consumption of media – to prompt readers to analyze the same themes surrounding themselves. DeLillo employs the juxtaposition of the infantile camera-girl with the harshness of the video’s content by mirroring the presentation with his diction, while also commentating on the authenticity and “realness” of the tape and examining its effect on the hypothetical consumer through repetition and second-person syntax. DeLillo’s

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