The Absurd in Don DeLillo’s The Silence (2020): A Camusian Study

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Université Mouloud Mammeri Tizi Ouzou


This dissertation explores the depiction of the philosophy of the Absurd in Don DeLillo’s fictional book The Silence (2020). It essentially aims at portraying how the contemporary world is prevailed by absurdity. This study also seeks to show how the characters in this novel struggle to give meaning to their existence. The first chapter is devoted to demonstrate the contribution of different postmodern conditions in The Silence in reinforcing the presence of the Absurd in the contemporary period. This chapter makes use of Jean Baudrillard’s book The Consumer Society to examine how consumerism acts like a way out from the Absurd. It then, uses Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, in displaying how digital addictions sponsor the feeling of absurdity. This chapter hence, shows how the aforementioned alternatives to the Absurd namely, consumerism and media fail at giving meaning to life. The second chapter explores traits of the Absurd in the novel, relying vigorously on Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus in analyzing the characters, the images, and the themes that convey absurdism. This chapter also investigates Camus’ suggestions to face the Absurd and how all these solutions are employed by the characters. This study hence, seeks to prove that the more individuals are technologically advanced, the less their life makes sense. The Silence thus, reflects an absurdist portrayal of today’s world, with the failure of all alternatives to face this absurdity.


30cm ; 66p.


Don DeLillo, The Silence, Camus, absurdism, postmodernism, consumerism, hyperreality.


Littérature et Civilisation