Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Either/Or?

Here is a confusing, but interesting, look into the wonder that is Babette: 

"Either I'm taking something and I don't remember or I'm not taking something and I don't remember.  My life is either/or.  Either I chew regular gum or I chew sugarless gum.  Either I chew gum or I smoke.  Either I smoke or I gain weight.  Either I gain weight or I run up the stadium steps."

"Sounds like a boring life"
"I hope it lasts forever," she said. (53)

I like this idea. Someone's life being either/or. I don't particular even care about what she is choosing either/or between.  I am amused by the notion of life being an "either/or"

Others' thoughts?

Either I teach or I starve!

and Heinrich for President.

4 comments:

Lindsey said...

This is an interesting philosophy: living life in either/or. I think Babette is trying to simplify her life, since she tries to be the ideal mother figure and she is Jack's primary support system. By adpoting an either/or outlook on life, it is as if Babette is looking at life in black and white. However, in reality, life is for the most part in greyscale, with fuzzy areas and lack of definition.

David said...

I don't believe there is such thing as either/or living. What if the "or" is just nothing? Either I do this project, or I don't. The end. I think rather than simplifying her life as Lindsey said, Babette is in fact trying to make believe there is more to her incredibly dull life than just teaching old people how to sit up in their chairs all day.

Dave T

Snorlax said...

I think the concept of the "either/or" life is nothing more than a defense mechanism, a means to simplify a life that is never just two choices. As long as Babette can keep to either/or, a choice that requires only for one to come up with a diametric opposite, she can avoid having to engage in any critical thinking, thinking that might reveal poor choices she had made before. The either/or lifestyle give her the comforting blanket of inevitability.

mnm1224 said...

I feel like "thinking" in this society has been severely dumbed down into not much thought at all. People care less about what is going on in the world around them and more about themselves. Even college, which is often viewed as a melting pot of ideas, has been reduced to random facts about Hitler's life. Babette is just another person who has been programed to think in black and white. It's either do I have the airborne toxins and I'm dying or do I not have them and I live. It seems as though this could be a comment of Delillo's that society is being transformed into one where complexities are simplified as much as possible.

~mike