Diary of an Addict
Thomas De Quincey's, "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater" is a brief history of the authors life, as well as a detailed account of the physical and psychological effects associated with eating opium. De Quincey is not only the author, but also the narrator and main character of the book. His profound knowledge of the English language makes his prose at times feel like a one-way conversation with a genius. All in all "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater" is a wonderful account of the pains and pleasures of opium, as well as exhibiting several examples of a piece of romantic literature.
The author begins by providing the reader with a brief account of the early years of his life which lead him to becoming an opium-eater. After the death of his father, while still a young child, he was left to the care of four guardians.
As a young teenager De Quincey eventually ran off to live on his own in London, where he met some interesting people and faced several challenges. Living as a runaway, with no source of income, De Quincey was ultimately faced with starvation, and trying to find somewhere to sleep at night. From there he goes on to chronicle the events that lead him to opium-use, as well as the people whom he met along his journey.
Throughout the next two sections of the book De Quincey goes on to describe the effects of opium on him and on his life. He first goes on to explore the pleasures of opium. De Quincey first tries to nullify the notion that use of opium breeds inactivity, "with respect to the torpor supposed to follow, or rather (if we were to credit the numerous pictures of Turkish opium-eaters) to...