- Published: November 15, 2022
- Updated: November 15, 2022
- Language: English
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Welsh uses structure to show juxtaposition of the different characters and the different position of the narratives. One way that Welsh expresses struggle for identity is through the use of gender roles. “ The rest make whooping noises and dae a drum roll on the table. Ah complete the order feeling shattered and debased and deport to the kitchen. ” At this point in the book the character Kelly is working as a waitress in an Edinburgh restaurant.
Some male costumers treat her with disrespect and she decides to get some revenge on the unpleasant customers. This shows the reader how Kelly is treated because she is a woman. The fact that they make “ whooping” noises towards her show how they are demeaning her and treating her as an act. Irvine Welsh combines standard and non-standard dialects in his various narrative voices, the different dialects set a barrier between the reader and the character in the book which the reader has to over come to connect with the character.
Welsh offers a way for the reader to connect with the character, through using the current issue of gender and the different ways in which women are sometimes portrayed. In the chapter ‘ Feeling Free’ which is narrated by Kelly, Kelly and Alison create a scene in front of a construction site by getting into an argument with some construction workers who are shouting abuse at them. “ The guy looks at her wi real hate” this shows the reader that he hates her because he is male and feels superior to females. So ah wis a doll a minute ago whin ye wir hasslin us. Now that ah tell ye tae fuck off, ah’m a boot.
” When Alison retaliates to the man hassling them he does not like it and backs off and resorts to calling her and Kelly names to try and keep his superiority. Welsh associates gender with love. He does this by making it seem inferior to gender. This idea is revealed in the chapter ‘ Her Man’ which is narrated by Second Prize. Second Prize and Tommy are in the pub and Tommy confronts a man who is openly hitting his girlfriend.
This scene shows gender from different view as throughout the book struggle for identity in gender is usually presented through the males disrespect for females. The characters are surprised to find the woman support her abusive boyfriend. ” Fuckin bastards. That’s ma man, she shouts tae us as they leave” the reader is taken back by the fact that the woman is beaten, even the male characters who in previous areas of the novel are violent towards women themselves notice this and stick up for her.
Welsh uses symbolism because he talks about the fact that the woman’s outh has blood on when she is sticking up for ‘ her man’ “ her mooth is still bleedin”. Throughout the novel women are the only people that seem to struggle because of their identity. Welsh uses non linear narrative based on loose chronology this expresses the confusion in gender even more this is perhaps because by jumping forwards and backwards in the story it removes the characters right for having a straight forward and complete story line, that it is not important because it is interrupted.
Although women are the most obvious and mainly used for the struggle of identity there is one chapter in particular that stands out for a male who struggles with his identity. ‘ Searching for the Inner Man’ is narrated by Renton. The title of the chapter itself shows the reader that there is a struggle for this male character. This is an important chapter in which Renton reflects on why he used heroin after seeing several psychiatrists, Renton’s cynicism has stopped him from forming meaningful relationships with anyone, and he is unable to get any enjoyment out of anything. conflicts will remove the anger which fuels ma self-destructive behavior, that behavior manifesting itself in ma use ay hard drugs”.
He looks at all of this as he feels insecure about himself as a man and feels that to cope he turns to heroin. The use of expletives throughout the novel that the reader cannot escape or ignore show where the characters are from and that they struggle with their voice so use the expletives to get themselves heard, it also shows where the characters are from that it is how they feel they should speak to ‘ fit in’.
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