Trainspotting Essay Research Paper It is easy

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Trainspotting Essay, Research Paper It is easy to say that Trainspotting revolves around Heroin addiction in Leith. Whilst this is strictly true, to gain a full appreciation of the novel and to appreciate the dramatically honed down movie, we must understand the underlying themes. With the exception of Spud in the novel, none of the main characters appear to be along for the ride when it comes to heroin addiction. The novel s underlying theme for me is fear. All the characters, with the exception of Begbie and Diane show fear throughout the novel. They re too scared to take heroin in case they overdose or contract HIV, they re scared to buy it because the journey might involve a kicking and they re scared of what will be waiting for them in the cold light of day when the high

wears off. At the same time they re too scared not to take heroin because what would they do? Could they get a job? Do they want a job and if not why not, do they choose not to join the rat race or are they too scared that they couldn t if they tried. They re all too scared of Begbie to tell him that they do not wish to socialise with him and would rather suffer the fear that he could turn on them in any second rather than lose the comfort of his misplaced loyalty to them. They would rather be on Begbie s side than against him although deep down they know that as far as Begbie is concerned, everyone is against him. Maybe they feel that they need to have ranking order. I ve noticed that some people who choose not to work end up adopting the principles of those who do. They turn up

at the pub, library, DHSS etc religiously every day at the same time and seem to be part of a hierarchy structure where in this case, Begbie is the boss. Indeed, whilst each character shows a little fear throughout, this is balanced nicely with Begbie s apparent complete lack of fear and as such, equilibrium remains. Another theme which stands out to me in both the novel and the movie is social acceptance. Renton s parents, Begbie and lets face it, a large part of society, all feel that whilst it is inexcusable to become addicted to heroin, it is understandable to have the desire to get absolutely annihilated drinking alcohol. When Renton is taken to his local pub by his parents when he is attempting to come off heroin they are not slow to pass the pints . Neither they nor Begbie

can see that both heroin and alcohol are used to achieve the same goal. What the novel forces us to look at is why we feel that it is ok to seek oblivion after a hard week at the office yet it is not ok to seek oblivion when we have done nothing that week except score more heroin. Surely both consumers are equally as unhappy with their lives. Trainspotting, the novel, is bleak and realistic. Whilst sparse on humour, the one-liners and comic observations when they do appear are ridiculously funny and easy to relate to, for example when Renton asks do Ethiopians not have glands . There are far more characters in the book and at times I found it a little confusing trying to figure out who was who. Whilst language use helped to differentiate between characters, I noticed the Irvine

Welsh granted all the characters, with the exception of Renton, a little more wit, wisdom and insight than they were given in the film, especially Spud who was allowed to develop far more in the novel. The novel allows the reader to visualise and censor some of the more disturbing scenes for themselves, such as when the dog is killed in the park, when Renton reaches down the toilet to retrieve his opium suppositories, and when he has sex with his brother s girlfriend at his brother s funeral, which is not portrayed in any shape or form as a moving, romantic or even an understandable action on Renton s part. Whilst the first two scenes mentioned are adapted for the film, (instead of killing the bluebottle and scrawling Hibs across the toilet door with its blood, Renton instead