Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 4

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 4

  • Jack meets Babette at the high school stadium, where Babette likes to run up and down the bleacher stairs for exercise. As the two of them walk home together, Jack admits that one of his biggest fears is not knowing who will die first: him or his wife.
  • Jack tells Babette that they'll be getting a visit from his daughter Bee, an older child from one of his earlier marriages.
  • On Friday night, Jack, Babette, and the kids sit down to watch TV and eat Chinese food together. Babette insists on making it a Friday night tradition. She thinks the kids won't want to watch TV all the time if they think of it as something their mother forces them to do. Not a bad plan, really.
  • Jack muses for a while about how his old university chancellor told him to get really fat and ugly in order to make himself look more like a great intellectual. Instead, Jack got himself some dark glasses and started going by the initials J.A.K. at work instead of Jack. He feels like a total phony. But he's insecure and needs people to look at him a certain way.Ā 

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