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Willie Mink is a shadowy figure who makes a brief but
significant appearance at the end of the novel. Long before he actually
appears in the text, we know of Willie Mink as Mr. Gray, the corrupt
project manager behind the drug Dylar. Mink has been carrying on
an affair with Babette, who believes Dylar can alleviate her overwhelming fear
of dying. Willie Mink is both the center of Jack’s jealous rage and
Jack’s only hope of getting Dylar himself.
When Willie Mink finally does enter the story, he has
already become a pathetic, half-crazed figure. Deranged and debilitated,
he personifies the corrupting influence of technological and media stimuli,
the novel’s titular white noise. Fixed in front of a soundless television,
muttering phrases from old shows and commercials, Willie Mink fills
the narrative with his own white noise, or babblings. For Willie,
the distinctions between real and artificial have collapsed entirely,
and he can no longer differentiate between the two. Willie Mink
is the ultimate casualty of this world of simulations, where characters
live almost entirely under the illusions they create.