Thursday, 6 March 2014

Less than Zero

 Less Than Zero

   "Generation X nakedly admits that it purchases its pleasures […] and thus highlights the inescapably commercial nature of the experiences it describes. […] [P]leasures and commodities are experienced as one and the same thing"

I have chosen to post the link to the essay 'Individualism and Postmodernism in Bret Easton Ellis’s “Less Than Zero” and Chuck Palahniuk’s “Invisible Monsters” (2012) – Part 2: Fiction – Bret Easton Ellis' by Hannah Brosch. It was a really interesting read about how and why Clay ended up in the situations he found himself in. The essay talks about several main points including Clay's relationship with his family, the strong featuring of music throughout the novel through media such as MTV and what I find most interesting is Clay's personality ' Clay is extremely passive, which grows progressively worse in the course of the novel. While, for example, at the beginning, he insists on leaving a club where he feels uncomfortable (cf. 13-14), later on he just allows himself to be picked up by anyone (cf. 29; 109-110), hoping to “[d]isappear here'. 
I found myself comparing this book with that of Push by Sapphire for the reason that for precious the abuses she suffered were a consequence of her poverty. However the characters in Less Than Zero do not have financial issues and should therefore in theory have a successful and happy life.  This generation of rich kids as Hannah Brosch puts it are 'Too rich and too young to work, the teenagers in Less Than Zero are neither citizens nor creators, but full-time consumers, never even going as far as cooking their own meals'. It is apparent that this 'blank generation' were suffering from boredom; they pushed the boundaries because they had disposable income and no actual commitments. This book reminded my of the film we discussed in a previous lecture 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Except the book of course if much more brutal however it does appear to be the same concept, that the children of rich parents being left to their own devices and with the amount of money they had these kids could get away with so much.

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