Absent - by Tui de Hamn

1095 Words5 Pages
Absent Why do young people use drugs? It might be because drugs can be used as an escape from life. Using drugs creates a distance between the user and his/hers surrounding. You become absent from your own life. Some young people may find this distance appealing. Especially when regarding their parents. In a situation where a mother has to deal with her son using drugs, one can imagine it being a painful situation. The short story “absent” by Tui de Hamn attends these issues. The theme of this short-story I would say is mainly drug-abuse, but also adolescence, motherhood, guilt, shame and loneliness. There are only two important characters in this short story: The mother and her son. The two characters are only described through their feelings, and we know nothing about the family’s background, except the mother is alone, and it seems as if the father is completely absent in their life. The teenage son, who is unnamed in the story, obviously has a drug abuse. It doesn’t say directly what the reason for this is, but in certain parts of the text it is indicated that he is ashamed of himself and his life. “The sadness of his existance penetrated his core, desperate and helpless” (line 73). This sentence shows us that he is aware of his own misery, and the drug abuse could be an escape from reality. He feels that he can no longer live that way, but is uncertain if he can return to his life as he “left it”. He wakes up in an appartment, and walks around between what he describes as: “comatosed bodies, contorted with sleep and alcohol” (line 9). He feels that he has nothing in common with these people, and it makes him think that he is alone. He also feels a bit guilty when thinking of the school and his mother. In line 79 it seems as if he makes a decision. “His mind was made up for him. He could not continue as he was, to become no more than a body, a mass of

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