Trainspotting A Novel By Irvine Welsh Essay

Trainspotting: A Novel By Irvine Welsh Essay, Research Paper

Trainspotting: A Novel By Irvine Welsh

Trainspotting is a captivating story of the random events that occur

during a critical time in a group of Scottish junkies’ lives. Irvine Welsh

illustrates the confusion, anger and turmoil many heroin addicts are subjected

to and what happens once they try to quit.

The story is centered around Mark Renton, an ordinary twenty-two year

old who was raised by a loving mother and father. He has two brothers: one was

catatonic and the other was an overachiever. Through court-mandated therapy he

was told he envied his parents and resented his older brother. This was what

contributed to Rents (what his friends call him) starting to use heroin.

Bit by bit the reader is introduced to Rents’ friends, cousins, friends’

of friends, parents, friends’ parents, the list goes on. Anyone with relevance

to the life of Mark Renton, the reader meets sooner or later. Everyone in Rents’

life is messed up or gets that way somehow. His friend Begbie, for example, is

an unhappy little man. He feels he has to make himself seem tough by surrounding

himself with “friends” who do nothing but boost his ego by letting Begbie put

them down. Aside from being on and off heroin, his good friend Danny Murphy, or

Spud (as everyone calls him) is a habitual thief. His friend Simone is nicknamed

Sick Boy for good reasons. When he is high he hears voices in his head willing

him to do evil things. He likes to shoot dogs as their masters are taking them

for a walk, and he enjoys using women for nothing but sex.. Rents’ date on

occasion, Hazel, was abused by her father when she was young, and she chooses to

shoot up to solve her problems. Rab McLaughlin, or Second Prize, drinks himself

into oblivion every chance he gets. Davie, a cousin of Renton’s has recently

become HIV positive from a girl who was raped by a psychopath. Davie chooses to

take revenge on him by pretending to kill the only thing he ever loved, an

illegitimate child the psycho fathered but is no longer allowed to see. Tommy,

Davie’s and Rent’s friend, was the only one of the group who was completely

normal. He even had a beautiful girlfriend that made him the envy of many of his

friends. But when the two of them broke up, he became the most wasted on heroin

of the whole lot.

Throughout the story Rents is on a rollercoaster of highs and lows;

trying to kick his habit and being so wasted he doesnt care about anyone or


There is no intricate plot to this story; just small bits and pieces

that give the reader insights into each characters’ life. There are amusing

anecdotes and deep thoughts to contemplate all on one page. The author does a

great job conveying his feelings, through the characters, to the reader. It

takes a while to adjust to the dialect the story is written in. Also, in some

parts it is hard to know who is speaking as almost every chapter is written in

first person, with different characters speaking to the reader.

The complex plot is that there is no plot, the meaningful theme is that

there is no theme; it is just one boy’s struggles with himself, the people

around him, and a hard, cruel world.