a critical analysis of modern litterature in" Bright Lights, Big City" by Jay McInerney

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The novel Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney relates the tale of a young man

working for a prominent newspaper in Manhattan by day, while visiting many bars and

nightclubs during the night. He manages to accomplish this through the help of his use of

cocaine, to which he is powerfully addicted. Throughout the novel McInerney employs the

use of the Coma Baby, a current story in the New York Post, a local tabloid, as a symbolic

representation of the main character. The Coma Baby has been residing in its mother's womb

after the mother suffered a car accident and entered a coma. The debate is to whether the

Coma Baby will see the 'light of the delivery room'. In this passage the main character is

experiencing a dream where he interacts with the Coma Baby in his workplace. This passage,

through the words and phrases employed by McInerney as both dialogue and narration, is

strong support for the concept that like the Coma Baby, the main character wants to avoid

facing the harsh realities of life and continue living isolated in his world of narcotic-induced

pleasure. The author uses the interaction of the main character and the Coma Baby as proof

that the main character will not realize the fallacies of his ways until he has hit rock-bottom.

The Coma Baby is shown to be the symbolic representation of the main character

through his actions and philosophy toward life, a philosophy wholly irresponsible and

unmotivated. As the main character approaches he asks the Baby if he's going to come out.

The Baby responds with 'No way José. I like it in here. Everything I need is pumped

in.'(line 11) This remark illustrates the main character's attitude toward life. With the

condition that the Baby gets what he needs,