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 DirectorateVisiting Instructor


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