White Noise Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the scene that opens the novel, in terms of setting, action and narration.

Jack Gladney narrates a scene of parents dropping off students for their semester. The scene is one of overwhelming familiarity and repetition: this happens the same way every semester. There is a lot of listing out of actions in the narrative description.

2. What is Jack's position at the college?

Jack is the Chair (and founder) of the Department of Hitler Studies. He invented Hitler Studies in North America.

3. What does Babette look like?

She is tall and plump, with dirty blond hair. Jack calls her "ample."

4. Why did Babette want to see "station-wagon" day?

She tells Jack that she wants to see what the parents look like. Specifically, Babette is interested in what the women are wearing, what kind of jackets the men have on. She and Jack are comparing these other people to themselves.

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