Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews September 29, 2023
September 22, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
Born in 1936 to Italian immigrant parents, Don DeLillo
grew up in a blue-collar, working-class neighborhood in the Bronx,
an area whose sights and sounds would eventually fill the pages
of his novels. As a child, DeLillo was more interested in sports
and the life of the city than with academics and literature. He
was eighteen when he began to seriously read the works of writers
like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce, whose
experiments with language would particularly influence him. Throughout
his college years at Fordham University, New York City played a
pivotal role in DeLillo’s education. The booming jazz scene of Greenwich
Village, the explosion of abstract expressionism, and the foreign
films of Jean-Luc Godard and Federico Fellini—none of which were
readily available outside of New York in those days—were central
to DeLillo’s early development as an artist.
After graduating in 1958 with a degree in communication
arts, DeLillo began a career in advertising as a copywriter, a job
he found uninteresting and eventually quit after five years. Unfulfilling
as the job may have been, DeLillo’s brief experience with advertising
influenced many of his works, particularly White Noise, which
hums with product placements and commercials and reflects the author’s sensitivity
to the power of consumerism. In 1966, DeLillo began work on his
first novel, Americana, which he wrote on and off
for the next four years in-between odd jobs. Published in 1971 to
mixed reviews, Americana marked the beginning of
a prolific writing career. For the next several years, DeLillo published
a novel a year, each novel further establishing and cementing his
reputation as one of America’s greatest contemporary writers. DeLillo
has gone on to win several of the most prestigious literary awards,
including the National Book Award for White Noise in
1985 and the Pen/Faulkner for Mao II in 1992.
DeLillo’s dense, lyrical, precise novels have come to
be considered classics of American postmodern literature. Postmodernism is a
wide-ranging and slippery term applied to art, literature, philosophy,
history, and numerous other disciplines. It denotes a historical period,
beginning roughly around the end of the World War II and continuing
until today, as well as a particular set of concerns, affinities,
sensibilities, and forms. Generally speaking, postmodern literature
is fascinated by the trappings of contemporary bourgeois culture.
In particular, DeLillo is preoccupied with the rise of technology,
the power of images, and the pervasiveness of the media. Like many
postmodernists, DeLillo finds popular culture highly compelling,
and celebrities, cult figures, and pop icons appear frequently throughout
his novels. In White Noise, the postmodern condition
is manifested as a kind of information overload, as the protagonist,
Jack Gladney, moves through a world increasingly submerged in marketing
imagery and media stimuli.
DeLillo’s novels are also characteristically postmodern
in the anxious, skeptical way they treat the question of knowledge.
Philosophically, postmodernism contends that real, definitive knowledge is
impossible and that truth is forever shifting and relative. Complex and
intricately woven, DeLillo’s novels string together a never-ending
web of connections that ultimately frustrate any attempt to draw
definite conclusions. Throughout White Noise, Jack
Gladney, the narrator, constantly connects seemingly random events,
dates, and facts in an attempt to form a cohesive understanding
of his world. Behind that attempt lies a deep-seated need to find
meaning in a media-obsessed age driven by images, appearances, and
rampant material consumption.