Don DeLillo's Great Jones Street: Commodification and Pandemonium


  • Muhsin Yanar Sabancı University



Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street, commodification, contemporary America, the market economy, fetish.


The future modern condition of humanity is at stake; the market economy rationalizes and mechanizes people; reduces them to objects that consume objects. Material value predominates human value.  Meaning is lost; it is equal to the accumulation of tangible objects. The complexity of human condition in the 21st century has become one of the most widely explored topics among scholars, writers, and critics in American literature. Given that DeLillo's character Bucky Wunderlick exemplifies this complexity, this paper proposes to explore Wunderlick’s treatment to commodification imposed upon him by the crowds (audience/masses) and market economy. In this paper, these crowds and the economic system are reduced to the notion of Pandemonium. It denotes chaos, a state of extreme confusion and disorder. My reading of Wunderlick’s commodification in contemporary America grounds on Marx and Engels' definition of the concept. I strengthen my argument with Jean Baudrillard, Guy DeBord, Lucas, and Adorno. On the whole, this study aspires to further expand the understanding of the future plight of human beings in the post-contemporary (my italics) America.

Author Biography

  • Muhsin Yanar, Sabancı University

    Foundational Development Directorate

    Visiting Instructor


Adorno, T.W. (2005). The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture. Routledge.

Baudrillard, J. (2016). The Consumer Society: Myths and structures. Sage.

Baudrillard, Jean. (1983). “In the Shadows of the Silent Majorities, or The End of the Social and Other Essays translated by Paul Foss.” Paul Batton, and John Johnson, New York: Semiotext (e).

Baudrillard, J. (1998). Jean Baudrillard: selected writings, edited by Mark Poster. Cambridge and Stanford Polity and

Stanford University Press, UK.

Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press.

Boxall, P. (2008). Don Delillo, and Media Culture. Cambridge University Press.

Cox, J. (1998). “An Introduction to Marx's Theory of Alienation.” International Socialism.

Debord, G. (2012). Society of the Spectacle. Bread and Circuses Publishing.

DeCurtis, A. (1990). “The Product: Bucky Wunderlick, Rock ‘n Roll, and Don DeLillo’s Great Jones Street,” Introducing Don DeLillo, Frank Lentricchia, Duke University Press, Durham, pp. 131-141

DeLillo, D. (1998). Great Jones Street. Picador.

Kellner, D. (1989). “Boundaries and Borderlines: Reflections on Jean Baudrillard and Critical Theory”. Current

Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 9, No.1, pp. 5-22.

Koch, A.M. & Elmore, R. (2006). “Simulation and Symbolic Exchange: Jean Baudrillard’s Augmentation of Marx’s Theory of Value”. Politics & Policy, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 556-575.

Logan, R.K. (2010). Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall Mcluhan. Peter Lang.

Lukács, G. (1971). History, and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. R. Livingstone, Trans. London: Merlin.

Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1967). The Communist Manifesto. 1848. Trans. Samuel Moore. London: Penguin.

Marx, K. & Bottomore, T.B. (1964). Early writings: Translated and edited by TB Bottomore. Foreword by Erich Fromm. McGraw-Hill.

Marx, K. (1867). Capital, volume I.

Osteen, M. (2008). “Delillo’s Daedalian Artists.” Cambridge University Press, pp. 137-50

Schussler, A. (2013). “Pornography and Postmodernism”. Postmodern Openings/Deschideri Postmoderne, Vol. 4, No. 3.







Similar Articles

1-10 of 261

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.