How would you compare the usage of drugs in McInerney's book to that of the characters found in Bret Easton Ellis' novel Less Than Zero?
I would appreciate anything else you would have to contribute on the similarities between the two books.
The narrator in Bright Lights, Big City seems to engage with drugs as a catalyst to his increasing sense of self-destruction and dissolution. He makes choices but often seems to behave as if he is being led by others or as if he is not fully conscious of his behavior. The narrator also relates events with irony, wit and humor. He often portrays himself as being outside of his own life looking in (hence the second person point of view). In Less Than Zero, which often seems to be a direct homage to McInerney's novel, the main character often uses drugs to numb himself from the morally-corrupt behavior he sees around him. He associates with people who behave in depraved and offensive ways, but drugs create a sort of smokescreen to help the protagonist overlook the depths of this negativity. This comes to a climax when he refuses to take part in a sexual situation involving an underage girl, when he tries to get a friend to step away. This signifies a turnaround in his previous attitude, but rather than standing his ground, he merely leaves. Not long after he decides that he must change his life and knowing that he must stop his drug use is one factor that weighs heavily in his decision.