Less Than Zero Analysis

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Bryon McCoy 2/8/99 Less Than Zero Analysis Less Than Zero, written by Brett Easton Ellis, is almost as much about Blair as it is about Clay. Further more, the relationship of clay and Blair is the underlying theme that nits the fabric of this book together.

As we look at the book we see several characters. Each of which is, to be blunt, screwed up. There are five characters that could be successfully argued as the main ones. There?s Trent, conniving and conceded who is a ?male model? and ?won?t do nude.? Julian, weak and passive, who Finn managed to turn into a male whore. Rip, over bearing and evil, a man that has ?everything? and ?nothing to loose.? Blair, intelligent yet easily manipulated who, throughout the book, thought Clay and her were going out. Clay, a cold and confused boy that thinks ?everything will be ok when I get back to New Hampshire.?

There is one character, however, that stands out from all the rest. If you have noticed Blair is the only one throughout the book that showed a backbone. If she was at a party and there was something she didn?t want to do then she wouldn?t do it. For example: when her and Clay were at one of Julian?s parties they were led into a room to watch highly objectionable and, frankly speaking, sick pictures of nude abomination. Clay stayed and watched even though he didn?t want to, Blair, however, said ?this is sick,? and left the room. Similar scenes like this are scattered throughout the book and reflect Blair's independence and freedom of will.

The difference between Blair and the rest of the main characters is that she does things because she wants to. Clay does things, not because he wants to but because his peers pressure him into doing it. Trent does things because he feels like he has something to prove. Julian does things because he doesn?t know how to say ?no? and if he does say ?no? he does so too late. Rip is sad and needs to be cleansed from this Earth. He does do things because wants to but for the most evil of reasons. His character sickens me.

Now, lets take a look at Clay and Blair, who, at first glance seem to be intertwined together. You see Blair pick Clay up from the airport, they go out together, they got parties together and you notice early on that they were or are involved. However, throughout the course of the book you begin to see that maybe they?re not so intertwined after all. We learn Blair still thinks Clay and her are going out. Clay, on the other hand, does not. He uses her for sex and companionship then casts her aside. But, and this is where it starts to get tricky, we notice as we begin to progress further and further into the book that Clay and Blair have a history together. The first hints of this are when we learned of Blair and Clays? trip to Pajaro Dunes. We know that this was a long time ago and that there was some feeling there at least on Clays part because he described their intercourse as ?making love.? And not just having sex.

Blair was strong enough to realize how Clay felt about her, she was strong enough to comfort Clay about it and she was okay enough to get up and walk away.

Blair and Clay came into the book together, they shared life intimately together and they parted on the last pages of the book.

The sad thing is that this is all going to start over again. When you listen to Blair and Clays? conversation just before he left Clay said, ?I?ll only be gone a couple of months,? ?There?s always summer,? and ?I?ll be back, it?s not that long.? This book, so coldly and causally written, seems to be a spiral loop frozen in time that repeats itself over and over again. Only with each repetition the circumstances and consequences will get worse and worse until they reach one final climatic moment.

In that moment it is anyone?s guess what will happen. Blair is, however, at an advantage, she will do things because she wants to not because she is trying to live up to everybody?s expectation and those expectations are going to kill everybody.

Here is a concept: If the conformists die off through the process of Natural Selection and the non-conformists rise up through the rubble as the new leaders and not outcasts. What will become of us?