Study Guide

White Noise Chapter 9

By Don DeLillo

Chapter 9

  • One day, the town of Blacksmith evacuates its grade school after there are reports of kids getting headaches and eye irritations. Men in plastic Mylex suits are called in to do a sweep of the building and find out what's contaminating it. Denise and Steffie are stuck with Jack and Babette all week.
  • At the supermarket, Murray pops up again and thanks Babette for the lovely dinner he had with her and Jack. This guy seems like he's never not at the supermarket.
  • Steffie grabs Jack by the hand and complains about Denise being a weird girl. It turns out Denise loves to read a medical book called the Physicians' Desk Reference. Jack says it's not so bad, but then Steffie drops a bomb. She tells him that Denise is reading the book because she wants to find out what weird drug Babette has been taking. This is the first Jack has ever heard about Babette taking drugs.
  • Jack wants to know what drug Babette's using, but Steffie doesn't know. She tells him to ask Denise.
  • Meanwhile, Murray talks to Babette about modern American culture and how all advertising is created to help us ignore the fact that we're going to die. He talks for a while about people from Tibet and how they have a healthier relationship to death. At this moment, Babette realizes that her baby Wilder has somehow gotten out of her shopping cart without her noticing. Panic time! But it doesn't take Babette long to find Wilder, who's already seated himself in some other woman's cart. Oh, phew…
  • Before Jack and Babette part ways with Murray, Murray invites them over to his place for dinner. Jack and Babette agree. When they get back out to the parking lot, they hear news that one of the men examining the Blacksmith grade school has died.
  • Gasp. Maybe something is going on here…

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