Bright Lights Big City Analysis

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Pg.1 Kenneth Gouwens Prof. H. ENG 102 6/4/15 The Importance of the Coma Baby Jay McInerey's novel Bright Lights, Big City is about a young man (you) living in New York and working for a newspaper with a very good reputation. However, at night, he is busy visiting multiple bars, drinking, and snorting coke in the mens bathroom. Throughout the story, we are reminded of what the protagonist saw in a local newspaper entitled “Coma Baby,” where a woman who is pregnant went into a coma and the baby has been inside her and doctors are wondering if it will even live outside of it's little world. The coma baby is used to represent the main character and his situation that he's trapped in as he tries to escape the addiction of cocaine and do something with his life. At one point in the story, the protagonist has a dream in which he visits the coma baby. As he talks to it, we are shown that much like the the baby, the protagonist refuses to come out of his world and step into the real world, face reality and kick his cocaine addiction. The author uses the meeting between the baby and the protagonist as a clue, perhaps evidence that the protagonist will not change unless he really needs to. The coma baby is a representation of the main character because as long as the baby gets what he needs from his mother, he will never feel the need to improve upon his life. Later, we find out that the main character lost his mom a little over a year ago and it seems as though that he hasn't gotten past it yet. It's easy to come to the conclusion that the protagonist is addicted to cocaine because his mother died, and therefore he has lost all of his motivation, he simply does enough to get by. The protagonist suggests hypocritically that the baby try to change its life, but much like him, it is stubborn and refuses to change unless he feels he has to. Pg.2 The
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