Analysis Of Blackout By Sarah Hepola

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This paper presents an IPA of an extract taken from ‘Blackout’ by Sarah Hepola. Sarah gives an account of her experience with alcoholism. The two themes to be discussed are Sobriety: “In a black cloud” and Disillusion: “I was someone else in them”.
Sobriety: “In a black cloud”
This theme consists of Sarah’s inner struggle with sobriety referring to it as being “in a black cloud”. The extract explains Sarah’s journey from glamourizing alcoholism to choosing sobriety.
“I’ve never liked the part of the book where the main character gets sober. No more cheap sex with strangers, no more clattering around bent alleyways with a cigarette scattering ashes into her cleavage. A sober life. Even the words sounded deflated. Like all the helium leaked
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This complements the idea that she thought her alcoholism made her special. In fact, alcohol made her feel “young and superior” which suggests that alcohol reminds her she is youthful. Moreover, the superiority ties into the idea that Sarah believes alcoholism is something only older people struggle with as she sees sobriety as old whereas binge drinking is normal for young people.
“I read Caroline Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story three times, with tears dripping down my cheeks and a glass of white wine in my hand. White wine was Knapp’s nectar of choice, which she described with such eloquence I needed to join her, and I would think, “Yes, yes, she gets it.” Then she quit and join AA, and it was like: Come on. Isn’t there another way?” (pg.
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The lens metaphor could mean that Sarah is now thinking rationally instead of foolishly. The phrase “chubby little lonely heart” enhances the idea that Sarah has low self-worth as she belittles herself for her misunderstandings, and shows she is aware of her desire to be loved by others from the words “lonely heart”. Furthermore, she views herself as naïve because she was “drawing sparkly rainbows on the page”. This is reminiscent of young girls doodling their crush’s name all over their notebook. This suggests Sarah perceives herself as childish for believing a gay man could be her husband. Additionally, she beats herself up over her mistake showing that she feels stupid for not seeing he was gay sooner. This once again adds to the idea she has low self-worth as she punishes herself for a simple mistake. Finally, her tears could symbolise her broken dreams with her future husband, or her low self-worth as she is internally blaming herself for her

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