Don Delillo Videotape Essay Scholarships

Videotape: Don De Lillo’s Illustration Of Postmodernism

Don DeLillo’s ‘Videotape’ is a short story of man who is absolutely captivated by some footage on the news that can be described as both, raw and shocking. The footage is being repeatedly played over and over. It depicts a young girl with a camcorder travelling in the backseat of her family’s car who happens to be filming a man driving a Dodge behind them. She continues aiming the camera at the man and filming until, suddenly, he is shot and murdered. The man watching the tape at home is clearly mesmerized and fascinated with the footage to the extent that he was trying to get his wife to watch it with him. This story portrays society’s utter fascination of shocking and disturbing content relating to death and other horrible events unless they themselves are involved. This, along with other characteristics, clearly suggests that “Videotape” is a piece of postmodern literature. This report will analyze and describe why “Videotape” belongs to postmodern literature through the in-depth analysis of the selected passage and a brief breakdown of the story as a whole.
Postmodernism is a vague term that can describe a variety of disciplines that include, architecture, art, music, film, fashion, literature…etc. (Klages). In the case of “Videotape”, postmodern literature would be the main focus or area of study. This type of literature emerged in the era that succeeded World War II and relies heavily on the use of techniques such as, fragmentation, the creation of paradoxes, and questionable protagonists. Furthermore, postmodern literature also exudes ambiguity and critical thinking where the focus is mainly on the reader and his/her experience of the work rather than the content and form. Building upon that, the selected passage creatively displays the marriage between these techniques and characteristics and is a great foundation for in-depth analysis with regards to the language, narrative, syntax and context the author used as well as its post modernistic qualities.
The first sentence in the selected passage reads, “You don’t usually call your wife over to the TV set”. It starts with the word “you”, which appears four times in the selected passage and repeatedly in the story as a whole. In the passage, the word “you” appears in the beginning of the first, fourth, tenth sentence, and sixteenth sentences. The repeated use of the word “you” can be attributed to the main theme of DeLillo’s story. The story’s main theme revolves around the impact of technology, namely media on human thought. Since this takes place in the modern world, the post World War II era, it is a relatively new subject. The fifth sentence in the passage reads, “The tape has been running forever and now the thing is finally going to happen and you want her to be here when he’s shot”. The use of the word ‘forever’ in this sentence implies that people nowadays thrive on things relating to death and other horrible events. It also goes to show how people and society...

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Underworld by Don Delillo Essay

1412 words - 6 pages In Don Delillo’s Underworld, the baseball is sought after as the ultimate goal and a fulfillment in life for Nick and the memorabilia collector. On the other hand, the ubiquitous use of waste throughout the novel is a motif of both the byproduct and the opportunity cost of mankind’s quests for fulfillment. Waste, whether as literal waste, wasted love, wasted lives, or objects all serve as a contrast to the value of the baseball as an object of...

Postmodern Graphic Designer: Paula Scher Essay

1551 words - 6 pages As stated by Jonathan M. Woodham, postmodernism "came to be seen as a term which usefully embraced those characteristics - such as eclecticism, ornamentation, kitsch, wit, and irony - which most typified the diversity of contemporary culture in a pluralist society". During the modernist era, designers hoped to reveal the fundamentals of art. Woodham's

White Noise

1309 words - 5 pages In Don DeLillo’s eighth novel: White Noise, warmly accepted by critiques, the author exposes, that the money gained colossal meaning during our time, plunging down other values like freedom of customer choice and respect for shoppers. In his work of fiction he illustrates how current world of commerce impacts our minds by manipulating our decisions, and also he indicates that a human nature demonstrates immense vulnerability for such attack....

Postmodernism in Pink Floyd The Wall

2289 words - 9 pages Pink Floyd The Wall Postmodernism And The Concept of Celebrity Culture This essay will look at how Pink Floyd The Wall can be perceived as a postmodern film and will attempt to further analyze certain characteristics and influences of a postmodern culture through illustrated examples within the film. By considering the significance of...

The Duality of Truth in Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

3657 words - 15 pages "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." -- Marcus Aurelius Don Quixote is considered as the first modern novel and one of the most important modernist elements available in the novel is the exploration of characters’ inner worlds, especially of Don Quixote’s. Through inner exploration of the main character, the readers observe that the real and the illusionary are interoperable...

"Don Quixote": The Book that Revolutionized Literature

1030 words - 4 pages Literature is a very diverse and interesting subject today, with many different kinds of stories that all echo different ideas. Although, this was not always the case, because in the Elizabethan Era, almost all novels consisted of a boring theme and a chivalrous knight that would save his love. When Miguel de Cervantes wrote The Ingenious Gentelman

Themes in White Noise by Don DeLillo

2334 words - 9 pages White Noise “The world…is crowded, not necessarily with occupants and not at all with memorable experiences, but with happenings; it is a ceaseless flow of seductive trivialities which invoke neither reflection, nor choice but instant participation.” (Oakeshott) The idea of the lacking of realness is one of the major themes carried out throughout the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo, especially through the device of the television. “For...

The Reflection of Emotions

1158 words - 5 pages Characters within Shakespeare’s, Much Ado About Nothing display love in a complementary manner to the love written in Sonnet 116. Although arduous situations occur, these individuals are loyal to their love interests. They consistently illustrate their feelings and this factor allows the characters to flourish. This especially true of Benedick, Hero and Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. As they are victimized by Don John throughout the...

Jack and Technology

1588 words - 6 pages Don Delillo’s White Noise explores one mans emotional struggles, and his love/hate relationship with technology in twentieth-century America. The novel takes place in Blacksmith, a small college town with a college known as the College-on-the-hill. Jack Gladney, the narrator and main character, is known to be “a big, aging, harmless, indistinct sort of guy”(83) He is an accomplished family man, a professor at the College-on-the-hill, a...

Fragmentation in The Life and Opinion of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman written by L. Sterne

965 words - 4 pages Fragmentation in The Life and Opinion of Tristram Shandy, GentlemanSterne's novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is known as one of the earliest and the best examples of postmodernist fiction. Fragmentation is characteristic of postmodernism.I will focus on the fragmentation and...

Origin of Digital Species

2264 words - 9 pages Origin of Digital Species Lev Manovich1 and Simon Cook2 argue that the internet and digital culture should be understood as a product of late Victorian and Modernist visual forms, but it is the goal of this paper to show that the internet and digital culture, while heavily influenced by these visual forms, is not the sole product of them, and that the time period between 1930 and the present day must also be included when analyzing the...

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#mymomsbiggestmistakewas one of her research papers has a typo in the citations and led me on a half hour wild goose chase for no reason.

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