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Bright Lights Big City Analysis

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Set in Manhattan in the 1980’s, Bright Lights, Big City, written by Jay McInerney, tells the somewhat autobiographical story of a twenty-four year old, recently separated, lonely man, hiding from his world, or what’s left of it. His wife, a fashion model, abandoned him and relocated to Paris, his boss fired him from his job as an editor, and his friend ditched him at a club―more than once. He then spent his nights snorting enough cocaine to make Mount Everest seem low, and had a nasty encounter with a rabid ferret that almost resulted in a one-handed narrator. As a reader, following the roller-coaster life of our unnamed narrator definitely kept me on the edge of my desk chair from the cover until the end. Some of the reasons behind my constant attention to the novel were a few aesthetic choices the author made, including the use of second person point of view and the development of the narrator. The author’s decision to use these two style choices—second person point of view and the development of the narrator―helped to create a unique and fun yet timeless and relatable story of a young man, alone in the bright lights, big city of NYC.
In Bright Lights, Big City, McInerney valiantly chose to write the novel from the second person point of view. Most authors tend to stray away from this narration because it can often be taken as forcing the reader into the storyline instead of using other, more traditional, means of letting the reader into their fictional world. McInerney,
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