White “Sound” – An Essay Depicting the Contrast Between Symbolism and Reality in White Noise
In the novel White Noise, the gap between what is real and what is a symbol or simulation becomes apparent. Many examples of loss of conscious thought and reality are prevalent, as is the obsession with that which is only meant to symbolize – a use of simulation and representation to escape from the hard reality of life and living.
SIMUVAC. The name merely states its meaning. A squad or organization of people that is trained to be ready in case of emerge\ncy, their response when the “toxic airborne event” occurs is one of post-modernist thought. In reaction, they merely play it off as “practice” for the real event, or an advanced training session. By claiming that it is practice, they think that no wrong can befall them, in utter rejection of the truth: an event of massive proportions with deadly consequences occurs, and the situation is no longer practice. It could be said that their ignorance is merely an attempt to stay calm and composed during the emergency, yet we see no evidence of such. One of SIMUVAC’s members states it perfectly when he says,
“Short for simulated evacuation. A new state program they’re still battling over funds for”
“But this evacuation isn’t simulated. It’s real.”
“We know that. But we thought we could use it as a model…we took it right into the streets.” (DeLillo 139)
The SIMUVAC man states that they realize that this situation may be of some consequence, but they merely wish to use this event as a model or precedent. Looking deeper into this situation, this is an attempt of the fragile human mind to escape from the thought of death and danger. The human is always afraid of death. Yet, the human sees death as a living thing, almost tangible. They believe that through ignoring this tangible, dark substance, that their world will never become threatened by the very thing they ignore.
Another example of the...