Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 27

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 27

  • Jack goes in for a medical checkup and finds that there's nothing obviously wrong with him…yet. On his way out of the building, he sees Steffie participating in a simulated evacuation of the town. He says hi to her, but a uniformed SIMUVAC guy tells him to back off.
  • Jack also runs into Heinrich at the simulated evacuation. Standing next to Heinrich is Orest Mercator, the nineteen-year-old who wants to set the record for sitting in a room full of snakes.
  • Jack asks Orest why he's training for something so idiotic. Orest says it's because he wants the world record.
  • Jack gets into an argument with Orest about the stupidity of what he's doing. Orest acts like he doesn't really mind the idea of dying, and this annoys Jack to the point of shouting. Eventually, Jack yells into Orest's face that the whole thing is stupid. When he's finished, Jack is embarrassed by how childish he's acting.
  • Orest says that he accepts the fact he might die. For him, having a world record is more important than being alive.
  • When Jack gets home, he asks Babette what happened to the Dylar bottle under the radiator cover. Babette says she has no clue where it went. She knows that Jack wants to take one of the pills for himself.
  • Jack demands to know the identity of the man Babette's been sleeping with for Dylar. But she won't tell him. She'll only call the anonymous man "Mr. Gray."
  • Next, Jack interrogates Denise about where the bottle of Dylar is. She says she won't tell him until he tells her what Dylar is used for. He refuses to tell her, so she says she'll just throw the bottle away.
  • For the next few days, Jack tries a ton of different arguments to get Denise to give him the bottle. It becomes clear that he definitely wants to take the stuff himself. But nothing doing. Denise won't give in. Jack is just going to have to make peace with his fear of death. Or maybe not…

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