BY Btgunds70 In the Ruins of the Future: Reflections on Terror, Loss, and Time in the Shadow of September By: Don DeLillo Summary In this eight section essay DeLillo gives an in depth analysis the events before, during, and the repercussions after the 9/1 1 attack on the World Trade Center. The essay skips around a bit but the main idea of the essay is somewhat clear. DeLillo describes the terrorist ideology of why they attacked us. Their target was not the global economy but, “It is America that drew their fury.
It is the high gloss of our modernity our technology our foreign policy It is the power of American ulture to penetrate every wall, home, life, and mind” (Sl P2). DeLillo also touches on the common belief that America is “The only superpower on the planet” because “Technology is our fate, our truth” (S5 Pl). Our status as a super power depends on “The materials and methods we devise” which “make it possible to claim our future” (S5 Pl) but, “It is their technology that marks our moments, the small lethal devices, the remote-control detonators or the larger technology they borrow from us, passenger Jets that become manned missiles. (S5 P9). DeLillo writes of the details of everything covered in ash, falling debris spreading ver several miles, and our response to this attack. “The improvised memorials The flags, flower beds, votive candles, the lamppost hung with paper airplanes, the passages from the Koran and the Bible, etc. ” (S3 PS). To sum things up DeLillo doesn’t persuade the reader to think a certain way about the attacks and the ideology of both Americans and terrorists. DeLillo gives an alternate perspective on the attacks and how we can look back and reflect on the past.
Response I want to start off my response to this essay by saying this was the toughest essay o not only read but understand as well. I had to read through it quite a few times before I finally grasped what I thought the ideas DeLillo was trying to interpret through this essay. I don’t understand why DeLillo decided to order the essay the way he did, skipping around from details of the days following the attack to The Bush Administration, then ideologies of both groups.
I did like the point DeLillo made about the two ideologies between Americans and the Terrorists. Although I’m not 100% sure that our modernity was the main reason for them to attack us, I think its ore likely that they attacked us because our government has the idea that our armed forces need to be more like a world police (Team America). America is a super power in this world, but that doesn’t mean we need to be in every other countries business and instead let them solve their own problems.
The details DeLillo used about the falling skyscrapers, the ash clouds surrounding tne two DullOlngs, ana tne people scurrylng away Trom tne slte mace me Teel Ilke I was there on that day. I can’t personally know what those people went through, but I can definitely imagine what they were feeling at the time. In section 5 paragraph 5 when DeLillo writes, “The area is bedraggled and third-worldish, with an air of permanent emergency, everything surfaced in ash. ” This quote makes me think that maybe the terrorists wanted to show America how they have to live everyday in a third-world country, being in constant danger.
My thought is the terrorists attacked us because they thought America was being all high and mighty thinking were the ONLY super power in the world instead of America being ONE of the super powers in the world. I found it interesting when DeLillo writes about all the counter-narratives to the /1 1 attack. “People who were not in the area when the attacks occurred will claim to have been there. ” (S3 P8). Why do people make these false claims about the event? I mean no one is going to say they don’t believe you because they don’t know if you really were there at the time. Others will claim to have lost friends or relatives, although they did not. ” (S3 P8). So what happens when they people you tell find out you didn’t really lose your aunt Sue in the attack? I Just don’t understand why people would lie about that because there are people out there who have lost their loved nes or were there on that tragic day. “The Internet is a counter-narrative, shaped in part by rumor, fantasy, and mystical reverberation. ” (S3 PIO). Online there are several hundred theories on what really happened that day and why it happened.
People post some of these things because they have the safety of being anonymous behind a computer screen. Many conspiracy theorists I see online believe that the 9/1 1 attacks were a government operation, that the government had placed bombs in the towers to make them collapse after the planes hit. Simply put, there are many crazy people posting crap online. When DeLillo gives the details of Karen and Marc on 9/1 1 saying Karen was calling her dad to say, “goodbye-I-think-we-are-going-to-die” made me feel the fear the people that day were feeling.
I was clueless to what was happening at the time because I was only five or six years old, but I do remember watching my teacher cry as we watched the two towers collapse on the television in our classroom. I remember they canceled school later that day and I was so happy I got to leave school early until I got home and my parents explained everything that had happened to me and I couldn’t help but sit there and cry. Overall the essay Don DeLillo wrote was very well written even though it was almost impossible to follow the first couple times reading it.
As hard as this essay was to fully understand, I still don’t think I fully understand it. I did appreciate the before, during, and after perspective DeLillo gave in the essay. It was relieving to finally read something that wasn’t trying to persuade me into any sort of thinking about the attack, instead it Just tells the story by giving you multiple perspectives on the event. I did enjoy reading this essay once I got my head wrapped around what I thought was the main idea.