White Noise

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Characters

Willie Mink

Characters Willie Mink

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.