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Addiction In Selby’s Requiem For A Dream Essay

Both novels give insight into how the characters describe their experience while on drugs and the evidence demonstrates that Requiem for a Dream offers a warped, illusional depiction of addiction, whereas Trainspotting is objective and honest. The character’s choice to live in an delusional fantasy rather than face reality in Requiem for a Dream is evident of their powerlessness and lack of will. The belief that they can obtain the American Dream while on heroin is irrational. Trainspotting, on the other hand, offers an honest and uncensored depiction of the horrors of heroin-use through narrative perspective. This is demonstrative of the character’s power over their addiction. However, a narrative perspective may not be as accurate as a character’s…

Her experience is told through complex, run-on sentences that serve to mimic Goldfarb’s thought process. The entire scene is very rushed which is a side affect of her amphetamine use. While high on the stimulant, Goldfarb is so hyper that she feels a need to relay every thought that runs through her head, as evident by the syntax. She describes the infomercial to be “absurdly infantile and intellectually and esthetically insulting;” however, Selby emphasizes through repetition how “she stared at it,” then “continued to stare and shake her head” while being “absorbed by the absurdity.” The use of alliteration puts emphasis on “infantile, intellectually and insulting” to bring attention to the fact that Goldfarb is in essence describing herself. The narrator’s use of personification to describe how “more and more of [Sara’s] mind was absorbed by the absurdity she was watching” offers insight into the severity of Goldfarb’s addiction. Her metaphor comparing television to garbage and her reference to viewers as “cretins,” meaning a stupid person, demonstrates her disgust with the informercial’s ability to manipulate. She is conscious of its lunacy, but unconscious of the powerful effect it has on…

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