Chapter 3: Domesticated Strangers: Fissures Within the Nuclear Family

  • Joseph George


“Domestic Strangers” examines three portrayals of family: a revolt against traditional contracts in Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, a family of fear in John Irving’s The World According to Garp, and a relationship based on impossible promises in Don DeLillo’s White Noise. These novels struggle to illustrate a type of responsible freedom, a union that differs from both the fear-motivated Eisenhower-era “traditional” family and the egoism inherent to the free love advocated by thinkers like Deleuze and Guattari. These novels demonstrate what Jean-Luc Nancy called “shattered love,” a relationship based on obligation to an unknowable other to whom one is joined in familial ties.


White Noise Social Contract Child Molester Contract Marriage American Writer 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph George
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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