Generation X by Douglas Coupland: Reactions to the Reading

Essay by NatalieC4444College, Undergraduate April 2004

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In the passage from the novel Generation X, mixed reactions are posed by the reader. Douglas Coupland, the author of the book had several ways of producing these reactions. The emotions felt by the reader range from feeling excited and happy in the beginning to feeling sympathy and sadness towards the end of the passage.

In the beginning of the passage, the text communicates a nostalgic and blissful feeling when referring to the many things that Curtis and Elvissa did as children. One would feel especially reminiscent when Elvissa talks about how she and Curtis used to walk around their living subdivision and play war games inside the tract houses. During the story, Elvissa talks about a teenage experience of losing one's virginity. At this point, feelings of invincibility are remembered by most readers. Life is looking good for both Elvissa and Curtis. Unfortunately, the feelings of optimism soon fade away after Curtis and his family move away.

Feelings of indifference fill the observer during the middle of the story. Sadness is only felt when Curtis moves away and Elvissa doesn't eat for two whole weeks. When Elvissa and Curtis reunite fourteen years a later, a feeling of satisfaction is in the air. After Elvissa and Curtis spend more time together, the only feeling that is expressed is sympathy and compassion. The author does a fine job of eliciting this response from readers by using strong words such as 'weeping'. Towards the end, the reader feels sorry for the life Curtis has led and the fall from grace which he has experienced.

It is amazing how an author can produce certain reactions by using certain words or describing special situations. Douglas Coupland helped to create these emotions. He helped us sympathize with Curtis. Most likely, this was his...