Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



This thesis will examine Don DeLillo's reaction to technology in relation to an American literary tradition of writers who criticize scientific advancement. Since the Industrial Revolution many writers have rejected technology by citing the dehumanizing effects of industrialization, such as a diminished sense of individuality and the increase of psychic distress. By incorporating the critical studies of T. J. Jackson Lears, Leo Marx, Lisa Steinman, Cecilia Tichi, and other scholars concerned with this issue, I will situate DeLillo's work within its proper literary historical context. Further, I will argue that DeLillo adds to this literary tradition by investigating the role that technology plays in deconstructing cultural narratives. I will demonstrate how White Noise, Libra, and Mao II, the author's last three novels, challenge the positivist assumptions of scientific progress.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

DeLillo, Don -- Criticism and interpretation Delillo, Don White noise Delillo, Don Libra Delillo, Don Mao II Literature and technology



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University