White Noise By Don Delillo

1832 Words Aug 24th, 2015 8 Pages
Literature of the eighties reflects a general atmosphere of fear at the time—fear of the unfamiliar, of death and disease. Outside of the books from that era, we can see where in American society this fear came from, how it weaved around what was alien and strangled it. We can retrospectively watch as it manifests itself in the roots of the AIDS epidemic, an outbreak of disease that took tens of thousands of lives because its origins were unknown, and it affected those who were different from the majority, those who the majority could not understand. These thematic nuances—the unknown, the unfamiliar, the fear of these things—repeatedly emerge in eighties’ texts. Whether it be novels, plays or short stories, the strange, the diseased, the dead and the terror of a combination of these things is strikingly evident. White Noise by Don DeLillo, for example, provides its audience with a depiction of a landscape of fear in the eighties. It reflects how the average American felt about impending doom, about society and the changes in society that were unknown to them. It provides a basis of understanding why later, when AIDS decimated almost an entire portion of a society, these average Americans abandoned their sick friends, family members or neighbors. Angels in America, a play by Tony Kushner, shows how this fear influenced the others, people made alien by their disease or sexual orientation. Kushner’s play brings to light how othering, the process of making someone separate from…
Open Document