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Essay/Term paper: Trainspotting: a novel by irvine welsh

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Term Papers

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Trainspotting: A Novel By Irvine Welsh

Trainspotting is a captivating story of the random events that occur
during a critical time in a group of Scottish junkies' lives. Irvine Welsh
illustrates the confusion, anger and turmoil many heroin addicts are subjected
to and what happens once they try to quit.
The story is centered around Mark Renton, an ordinary twenty-two year
old who was raised by a loving mother and father. He has two brothers: one was
catatonic and the other was an overachiever. Through court-mandated therapy he
was told he envied his parents and resented his older brother. This was what
contributed to Rents (what his friends call him) starting to use heroin.
Bit by bit the reader is introduced to Rents' friends, cousins, friends'
of friends, parents, friends' parents, the list goes on. Anyone with relevance
to the life of Mark Renton, the reader meets sooner or later. Everyone in Rents'
life is messed up or gets that way somehow. His friend Begbie, for example, is
an unhappy little man. He feels he has to make himself seem tough by surrounding
himself with "friends" who do nothing but boost his ego by letting Begbie put
them down. Aside from being on and off heroin, his good friend Danny Murphy, or
Spud (as everyone calls him) is a habitual thief. His friend Simone is nicknamed
Sick Boy for good reasons. When he is high he hears voices in his head willing
him to do evil things. He likes to shoot dogs as their masters are taking them
for a walk, and he enjoys using women for nothing but sex.. Rents' date on
occasion, Hazel, was abused by her father when she was young, and she chooses to
shoot up to solve her problems. Rab McLaughlin, or Second Prize, drinks himself
into oblivion every chance he gets. Davie, a cousin of Renton's has recently
become HIV positive from a girl who was raped by a psychopath. Davie chooses to
take revenge on him by pretending to kill the only thing he ever loved, an
illegitimate child the psycho fathered but is no longer allowed to see. Tommy,
Davie's and Rent's friend, was the only one of the group who was completely
normal. He even had a beautiful girlfriend that made him the envy of many of his
friends. But when the two of them broke up, he became the most wasted on heroin
of the whole lot.
Throughout the story Rents is on a rollercoaster of highs and lows;
trying to kick his habit and being so wasted he doesnt care about anyone or
There is no intricate plot to this story; just small bits and pieces
that give the reader insights into each characters' life. There are amusing
anecdotes and deep thoughts to contemplate all on one page. The author does a
great job conveying his feelings, through the characters, to the reader. It
takes a while to adjust to the dialect the story is written in. Also, in some
parts it is hard to know who is speaking as almost every chapter is written in
first person, with different characters speaking to the reader.
The complex plot is that there is no plot, the meaningful theme is that
there is no theme; it is just one boy's struggles with himself, the people
around him, and a hard, cruel world.


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