The Silence Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Silence.
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Technology and Human Progress

Humanity’s dependence on technology is so complete that without it, civilization begins to collapse. The unnamed clinic employee sums up this theme well when she says, “the more advanced, the more vulnerable” (60). This paradox of human progress is the novel’s guiding idea. Technological advancement is commonly accepted as a sure sign of human progress. DeLillo challenges this assumption through the mysterious event that causes the sudden collapse of all technological devices and infrastructure. This plot device brings to the forefront humanity’s dependence on technology and utter helplessness without it. In the novel, civilization’s dependence on technology is shown to be its greatest vulnerability.

In many ways, technology has become so ubiquitous that people do not even notice their near total reliance on it. In the first chapter, the miracle of aviation is depicted as a mind numbingly boring experience...

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This section contains 1,991 words
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Buy The Silence Study Guide
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