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The Modern Package: Examining Reactions to the Consumer Society in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Don DeLillo's White Noise


  • Andrea Mervik

Summary, in English

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Don Delillo’s White Noise both portray the modern world even though they were written over 60 years apart. Despite the fact that these worlds represent very different states of modernity, they are defined by two central traits: technology and consumerism, which influence the characters of both novels in several comparable ways. The concept of packaging is central in such an environment. This essay examines how the characters use different forms of packaging to fit in and make sense of the world around them. This is done by looking at how the characters view packaging, how they make sense of what they see and how they adapt, being surrounded by it. This essay will examine the characters’ perception of the modern world; how they create order in what they see; how they find meaning in packaging; how they transform their identities using packaging and finally how this behaviour affects the way that the characters view death. The results of this study show that packaging is central and influential in many aspects of the characters lives and that there are both similarities and dissimilarities between how the characters in the two novels are affected.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • cataloguing
  • religious interpretations
  • identity transformation
  • technology
  • modernity
  • consumerism
  • death in the modern world


  • Anna Lindhé (Dr)