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Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Don Delillo
Don Delillo (1936-) shines brilliantly in the contemporary American literary world with his unique verbal ability. Harold Bloom once regarded him as one of the four greatest contemporary American writers, along with Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy. With respect to literary achievements, Delillo has produced seventeen novels, seven plays and a number of short stories and essays so far. With his ready dexterity in handling ideas and writing techniques, Delillo has won numerous domestic and international awards. He received the “Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Literature” in 1979; in 1984, he became the winner of the “Literary Award of American Academy of Arts and Letters”; the White Noise published in 1985 brought the honor of “National Book Award” for him; in 1988, he won the “Irish Times International Fiction Prize”; in 1991, he gained the “PEN/Faulkner Award” for the accomplishment of Mao II; moreover, he became the first recipient of the “Jerusalem Prize for Literature” in the United States in 1999; in the Millennium, he was awarded the “William Dean Howells Medal” and the “Riccardo Bacchelli International Award”; in 2009, he was nominated for the “Common Wealth Award for Literature”, and obtained the “PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction” in the following year. 2012 was full of harvest, during which Delillo first won the “Carl Sandburg Literary Award”, and then was shortlisted for the 2012 “Story Prize Award” as well as the “PEN/Faulkner Award” for the publication of The Angel Esmeralda; and he also became the first winner of “the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction” in 2013.


1.2 White Noise
In fact, Delillo’s works fell into oblivion before the late 1980s. He did not rise to fame until White Noise was published, and this led to a proliferation of studies of Delillo and his works in both literary and critical circles. This novel marks the beginning of his attention to American post-industrial era. It is a novel that combines humorous and horrible elements, witty while deeply disturbing at the same time. However, the White Noise is in essence a doomsday apocalypse. 
The story is set in a small town named Blacksmith in the central United States in the late 1960s. The protagonist Jack Gladney, who works in Hitler Studies Department of College-on-the-hill, has experienced four failed marriages before he marries his current wife Babette. Jack’s first and fourth marriages are with Dana Breedlove, who is engaged in intelligence work, and they have a nine-year-old daughter named Steffie. His second wife Janet Savory, who has a “marvelous bone structure” (Delillo, 1986: 95), used to be a foreign-currency analyst and now deals with investments, real estate and other business activities in the ashram in Montana. Their son Heinrich is now 14 years old. By his third marriage with Tweedy Browner, he has a daughter named Bee who is twelve years old and lives with her mother after the divorce. Tweedy was born in a distinguished old family, and now remarries Malcolm Hunt, a high-level jungle operative. Babette is the fourth wife, who also has several marriages before tying the knot with Jack. Eleven-year-old Denise is her daughter with Bob Pardee; Later, she gave birth to two sons, Eugene and Wilder, with an Australian researcher. After the divorce, eight-year-old Eugene has been living with his father in Western Australia, while three-year-old Wilder lives with his mother. Now Jack and Babette, carrying their four children born in previous marriages, reorganize an American “post-nuclear family” (Zhu, 2016: 5). The novel develops a portrait of family and small-town life by revolving around this unconventional family structure in the post-modern society. 
Chapter 2 Theoretical Foundation
2.1 Habermas’ Criticism of “Technocracy”
To understand the philosophical thought of Jürgen Habermas (1929-), it is necessary to start with an understanding of Western Marxism. This trend of thought first emerged in the 1920s, when Maurice Ponty first defined the concept of Western Marxism in his Les aventures de la dialectique published in 1955. Western Marxism is an ideological theory derived from the development of Marxism, aiming at reinterpreting Marxism in combination with the current historical conditions. György Lukács, who is widely credited as the pioneer of West Malaysia, regards the cultural critique of developed industrial society as the eternal theme of West Marxism in his Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein. While it is integrated into other theories of social science such as sociology and psychology, he always adheres to his criticism of bourgeois ideology. Because West Marxism covers many regions, includes many schools and have lots of representative figures, its researchers have to divide its theories into different categories, based on the different positions and insights of the theorists, thus forming a spectacular academic research status. 
The Frankfurt School is a school based on how the theorists of West Marxism views ideology. On the attitude towards ideology, Western Marxists are divided into two camps: one camp inherits the critical position of Marx and Engels and criticize the ideological problems arising in capitalist society; the other camp occupies a neutral position, regarding ideology as a neutral concept and preoccupy themselves in theoretical researches (Liu, 2018: 33). Frankfurt School is a prominent school belonging to the former camp. Liu Zhuohong pointed out in her “The Critique Theory of Frankfurt School and Its Inspection on Modern Chinese Sexual Culture” that the basic features of Frankfurt School are the “critique of instrumental rationality, critique of social alienation and the critique of the whole subject group, the theorists do not forget to take humanism as the base while doing research, and finally it forms a school of its own with its cultural critical meaning”.
2.2 Theories of Communicative Action
The first generation of Frankfurt School, no matter Horkheimer or Marcuse, did not put forward concrete and practical measures to resolve the manipulation of rationality by technology, but only criticized this ideology at the theoretical level. However, Habermas, the successor of Frankfurt School, began to find a way out for human beings, that is, tried to restore human rationality in the real world. The theoretical system of Communicative action he constructed is inextricably linked to the shaping of his critical conception, which is the evolution of related thoughts. As is mentioned above, science and technology under the state intervention have possessed the characteristics of monopoly and centralization, which accounts for the fact that the freedom of the mass media as information transmitters and the social groups as information recipients has been greatly restricted in the process of information transmission. At this point, people’s self-consciousness is increasingly weakened under the background of developed industrial society. In Habermas’s “philosophy of subjectivity”, his attention shifted from the outside world to the consciousness of individuals. In fact, before Habermas, Marx had explored the classification of theories about communication as early as the 1840s. Although no clear definition of social communication was found in his classic treatise, Marx implied that individual subjective” need for communication” is important in both realistic and historical dimensions. He argued that “when Communist craftsmen unite... they also have a new need, that is, the need for communication, and what appears as a means becomes a purpose” (Marx, 1979: 93). Marx subsequently distinguished two types of human mode of communication: material communication in the process of material production practices and spiritual communication built on the medium of communication such as language. It can be seen that Marx and Habermas share a common focus on “real person”. 
Chapter 3 The Background: The Chaotic Dichotomous World in White Noise .......................... 29
3.1 “Ideologicalization” of the Systematic World: the Crisis of Rationality under the Ideological Clampdown ................ 29
3.1.1 Technical Landscape .............................. 30
3.1.2 Carnival of Consumption ........................... 32
Chapter 4 Struggling: The Dilemma of Communication in Technological Intrusion in White Noise .......................... 45
4.1 Communicative Alienation within Consanguineous Group ............ 46
4.1.1 Conjugal Relationship ................................. 47
4.1.2 Parent-Child Relationship .................................... 50
Chapter 5 Awakening and Reconstruction: The Spiritual Demystification of Grotesque Interaction in White Noise ..................... 65
5.1 A Creative Restoration to Communicative Rationality ................... 66
5.1.1 An Awakening to Transcendental Rationality ............................ 66

5.1.2 Reflection on Medium of Communication ................................ 68
Chapter 5 Awakening and Reconstruction: The Spiritual Demystification of Grotesque Interaction in White Noise
5.1 A Creative Restoration to Communicative Rationality
5.1.1 An Awakening to Transcendental Rationality
Modern Western philosophy underwent an epistemological turn concerning the subjectivity of man, culminating in the refinement of classical German philosophy, which was initiated by Kant’s transcendental philosophy. It is a way out that Kant sought for metaphysics by abandoning his earlier empirical analysis, thus ensuring the legitimacy of metaphysics. 
The ‘transcendental’ in Kant’s philosophy refers to what precede experience and is related to the formation of empirical knowledge; although ‘a priori’ likewise refers to what precedes experience, it has nothing to do with experience. Thus ‘a priori’ can be seen as an innate condition for examining how experience is possible. (Delillo, 1986: 28) 
Kant’s “transcendental ego” is the precondition for understanding experience, which makes it possible to obtain rationality and knowledge by the joint action of sensibility and intellectuality, and further obtain the “genuine knowledge”. At the same time, it endows self-consciousness with initiative and make it have the ability to understand things. “If people want to form knowledge of the objects of reason, like mind, idea and God, they must use the rational faculty of the transcendental ego” (Zhang, 2005: 53), which is a prerequisite for human freedom. 
Chapter 6 Conclusion
In the light of the above discussion, it can be concluded that restoring interpersonal rational communicative action is an effective way to deal with the modern crisis. As a modern media phenomenon, “white noise” plays a role in constructing a space of concentration by shielding other noises, which is used by Delillo to refer to the widespread mental symptom in modern times. It is like a layer of artificial glass, which isolates modern people on a psychological level and immerses them in a certain atmosphere. Death, fear and loneliness are the “white noise” created by the writer in the novel White Noise, in which the alienated communicative action and spiritual imbalance of people are presented. At the meantime, the root of the permanent fear of the characters in the novel is also revealed, which is caused by the alienation of the communicative action of people. Delillo’s profound exploration of post-modern society and human beings pinpoints the problems urgently to be solved in post-modern America: the prudent supervision of power institutions, rational application of science and technology, and judicious usage of mass media. With the help of White Noise, Delillo makes us realize that there are still colorful lights of hope under the paralyzing daily “white noise”, and as long as they are noticed, individuals will not perish in this white noise. Cutting off the collusion between consumerism and mass media, reconstructing the understanding of oneself and others, and restoring the rational-led communicative action are the solutions given by Delillo to solve various modern crisis. In reflection on life and death, the novelist not only realizes the trauma brought by modern science and technology to human beings, but also realizes the double destruction of natural ecology and spiritual ecology in the process of development of science and technology, which are all reflected in White Noise.
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