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Select two essays from the Rivkin and Ryan Reader. Type out one quotation from each of the essays which you think encapsulates the essay's key ideas. Write a commentary of about 250 words on each

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Introduction

Devi Rama Foundations of Modern Literary Studies Select two essays from the Rivkin and Ryan Reader. Type out one quotation from each of the essays which you think encapsulates the essay's key ideas. Write a commentary of about 250 words on each quotation explaining what you understand from the quotation and a brief summary of the ideas which it reacts against. Then offer a detailed and in-depth analysis of (aspects of) White Noise based upon your chose quotations. "Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions." This quotation is taken from Nietzsche's On Truth and Lying in an Extra-moral Sense. The meaning of this quotation is that there is no reality. This is because we are imposing our ideas and concepts to reality and our truths are actually illusions. These illusions have been imposed so much that we have forgotten that they are in fact illusions that we have created. Therefore there is no real truth or reality. We impose our own ideas which become our truths when in fact there is no truth because our truth has been made up of illusions. The key idea of Nietzsche's essays on this subject is the idea that language is not adequate for reality. It is just an attempt to tame the untamable. There is just too much diversity in reality for language to cover it. The way language tries to classify objects is not adequate. ...read more.

Middle

In the beginning Jack starts off as the all seeing authoritative narrator which makes sense of the novel. He is confident in his ability to understand what he sees; this is reflected in the language he uses. For example, the repetitions of 'There is...' and 'There are...' This reflects his confidence. This has a link to enlightenment. However as the story progresses Jack's narration changes. The confidence in Jack's narration changes to an almost vague and confused Jack. In the supermarket scene in chapter nine he does not even seem to understand Murray: I wasn't sure I understood what he was talking about. What did he mean, much clearer? He could think and see what?5 Here his narration has lost the confidence in his understanding. He seems to be much less certain of things. Therefore the narration moves from what seems like backing up enlightenment to a more post-enlightenment narrative where he is unsure of himself and the chaos of his reality. During the course of a novel there is a spillage disaster which then accumulates into a cloud. There are supposed to be symptoms of exposure to this cloud. Jack and his family constantly rely on the radio for updated information even though they can see the cloud. 'Come on, tell me what they said on the radio while I was out there.'6 The family needs the radio to describe the cloud and to tell them the symptoms of exposure. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the advantages of looking at the text in this way is that it helps us to examine the function of the signifiers in the novel in a theoretical way In conclusion literary theories can be applied to novels to can help us understand the novels in different ways. The literary theories can give us a structured angle of analysing a novel making the application of literary theory to novels useful. However we need to be careful when using literary theories to examine a text as it may give us a limited analysis. 1 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 46 2 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 46 3 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 46 4 Literary Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition, Edited by Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan: Frederich Nietzsche (Blackwell Publishing) pg 268 5 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 36 6 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 116 7 Literary Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition, Edited by Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan: Ferdinand de Saussure (Blackwell Publishing) pg61 8 Literary Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition, Edited by Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan: Ferdinand de Saussure (Blackwell Publishing) pg61 9 http://www.criticism.com/md/the_sign.html accessed 06/12/05 10 http://www.markwmoss.com/truth.htm accessed 06/12/05 11 Literary Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition, Edited by Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan: Ferdinand de Saussure (Blackwell Publishing) pg62 12 White Noise, Don DeLillo (Picador 1999) pg 17 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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