Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 10

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 10

  • Inside the kitchen, Denise watches her mother pull the cellophane off a package of chewing gum. She reminds her mother that the brand of gum she's opening causes cancer in lab rats. Babette says she needs to chew gum if she's going to stop smoking. But Denise says she shouldn't have to do either.
  • Jack retreats upstairs to see what his son Heinrich is up to. He finds Heinrich in his room, studying chess moves for a game that he's playing with a prison inmate through the mail.
  • Jack asks Heinrich if he knows why the man's in jail. Heinrich says that man went on a killing spree because he couldn't help himself. His television kept telling him that he had to do something drastic if he was going to go down in history. Jack's a little uncomfortable about Heinrich playing chess with a lunatic, but doesn't say anything more about it. You can make your own call about whether that's the right fatherly move.
  • The next day, Jack punches his bank pin number into an ATM and suddenly feels grateful that the computer will let him into the system. He doesn't know why. He's just happy to feel like a part of things.Ā 

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