Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 39

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 39

  • Jack drives around for a long while thinking of his plan,which is to shoot Willie Mink in the gut, then put the pistol in his hand tomake it look like a suicide.
  • He walks into the motel room and finds a guy sitting in Budweiser shorts and staring at a television. It's definitely Willie Mink. The dude's brain is completely fried from taking Dylar.
  • Jack wants to find out where Willie keeps his stash of Dylar before killing him. It's clear he still wants to use the pills on himself.
  • Willie chomps down handfuls of the pills as if they're candy. He keeps repeating fragments of the stuff he's heard on TV. After a weird, drawn out conversation, Jack shoots him in the gut.
  • He pulls Willie into the bathroom and puts the gun in his hand. The only problem is that Willie ain't dead. He shoots Jack in the arm while Jack's leaving.
  • When the pain of the bullet goes through him, Jack realizes he can't leave Willie to suffer and die.
  • He loads Willie into the car and takes him to a nearby hospital. It turns out that Willie's going to make it. Jack gets his own arm fixed up in the process.
  • At the hospital, he strikes up a conversation with one of the nuns working there. He asks her about God and the afterlife. But she says she doesn't believe in the afterlife.
  • Jack is a religious cynic, but this news crushes him. The nun tells him that religious people only pretend to be religious so that people like Jack have something to look down their noses at. The truth, according to the nun, is that skeptics and cynics wouldn't know what to do with themselves if there were no spiritual people left. They'd have to confront how empty the world really is.
  • Jack insists that there must be someone in the world who still believes in heaven. The nun shakes her head in disgust. She tells him that death is the end of everything and that's that.
  • Jack returns home and parks his neighbors' car back in their driveway. The seats are completely covered in Willie Mink's blood, but whatever.Ā 

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