Narrative Function of Trainspotting
Opening ParagraphWho needs reasons when you've got heroin? This is the main question that a Scottish drug addict struggles with throughout Trainspotting. Based on the novel by Irvine Walsh, the 1996 British film Trainspotting captures the lives of a group of young heroin addicts during the late 1980s in Edinburgh, Scotland. In a pivotal scene of the movie, Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" plays in the background as protagonist Mark Renton slips peacefully into a heroin overdose shortly after escaping rehab. Renton returns to consciousness bluelipped and gasping for air in the ER after receiving a Naloxone injection. The pleasure depicted in the overdose scene juxtaposes the vile consequences of using heroin. I argue that the narratives within Trainspotting normalize extreme forms of pleasure and disgust through the portrayals of drug use and sex.