Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 40

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 40

  • In the book's final chapter, Wilder hops on his big-wheel tricycle and decides to take it for a spin on the freeway. A few old women watch in horror from a nearby balcony, shouting for help. Wilder almost gets hit several times. But amazingly, he makes it across the freeway.
  • It's only after he falls over on the other side that he starts crying. For Jack, this incident drives home just how much Wilder has no clue about death.
  • Jack tells the reader that his doctor wants to see him again soon. But Jack is tired of worrying about death and won't go in for the visit.
  • He, Babette, and Wilder go to he supermarket. Jack feels the same religious experience he did at the beginning of the book. All of the colorful products distract him from bad thoughts, and he feels an almost religious sense of peace standing in the aisles. He might have learned a valuable lesson, or nothing at all. It's really tough to tell.
  • We'll leave the final decision up to you, dear Shmoopers.

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