Search Menu

White Noise

Don DeLillo

Contents

Chapters 9–11

page 1 of 3

Chapters 9–11

Chapters 9–11

Chapters 9–11

Chapters 9–11

Summary: Chapter 9

Denise and Steffie’s grade school is evacuated because children and teachers are exhibiting mysterious symptoms like headaches, eye irritations, and the taste of metal in their mouths. One teacher starts rolling on the floor and speaking in foreign languages. The school closes for a week while inspectors do a sweep of the building. The inspectors’ suits are made of Mylex, a substance that confounds their detection equipment, rendering the results ambiguous and inconclusive.

While the girls are home from school, Jack, Babette, Wilder, and the girls take a trip to the supermarket. There, they run into Murray once again, and Jack notes that he’s seen Murray in the supermarket as many times as he’s seen him on campus. Jack listens to the din of the supermarket and thinks he can detect a strain of noise coming from within the human clamor: something dull and unlocatable, just beyond his perception.

Jack and Steffie walk down the aisles, and she tells Jack that Denise has been reading the Physician’s Desk Reference to find information about a drug Babette has been taking. Jack says he knows nothing about any drug.

In another part of the store, Murray helps Babette push her loaded cart and talks about the Tibetan philosophy of death. He tells Babette that he finds that the noises, colors, and psychic energy of the supermarket spiritually recharge him. Supermarkets contain untold amounts of hidden symbolism, he tells her, and reading the symbols is only a matter of learning how to peel back the layers of inscrutability. Babette nods, smiles, and shops her way through Murray’s lecture on dying. Wilder disappears briefly into someone else’s cart but is quickly recovered.

As they check out, Murray awkwardly invites Jack and Babette over for dinner, which they accept. In the parking lot, Jack and Babette hear a rumor that one of the Mylex-suited investigators died during the school inspection.

Summary: Chapter 10

As Jack observes the student body at the College-on-the-Hill, Jack feels that he can actually see the college’s high tuition reflected in the students’ bearing and the particular ways they sit, stand, and walk. To Jack, the students’ mannerisms signal a shared membership in some kind of secret fellowship, determined by their economic status.

Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 9–11 Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 9–11 Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ
+
#

CHAPTERS 9–11 QUIZ

What do Murray’s students think is worthless that Murray, by contrast, sees as an important, primal force in American life?
Television
Religion
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 9–11 Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Chapters 9–11 QUIZ

+
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 9–11 Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

More Help

Previous Next
essay help

by LeonMcMillen, August 08, 2017

I’ve only tried one essay service but I can tell you that the website I used was really solid. It’s called

https://digitalessay.net

. Basically you get to pick a writer and you can communicate with them through an internal chat system which makes explaining how to do specific assignments a lot easier (especially if your teacher is a hard-ass like mine was.) Good luck with your paper!