Themes Of Escape, Addiction, And Sexuality

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The themes of escape, addiction, and sexuality in The Basketball Dairies are all intertwined. Jin Carroll first use of drugs was recreational. It was something to do to past the time and to be able to fit in with his friends. In fact, he was so immature and naïve about drugs that he thought marijuana was addictive and heroine was not. It did not take long for his addiction to manifest. Jim Carroll grew up in a difficult time of political and social upheaving. During the 1960’s, the Unites States at war with Vietnam, Russia (The Cold War), and also faced a nuclear threat from Cuba (The Cuban Missile Crisis). Civil unrest, disobedience, increased racial tension and riots also proceeded this era. Young Jim Carroll felt powerless and hopeless in his environment and resorted to drugs to escape his catastrophic reality. Jim stated, “You don’t feel guilty about not fighting a war or carrying signs to protest it either. We’ve just mastered the life of doing nothing, which when you think about it, may be the hardest thing of all to do” (Carroll pg. 128). Jim Carroll was internally wounded by the plague of war. He lived in a world of constant state of terror. To be able to adjust and cope with this reality drugs were his only choice. I believe that if he attempted to handle all of his problems without the use of drugs, the talented artist that he grew to become would have been extinguished.
Addiction, allowed Jim to maintain life on a daily basis. In the winter of 1966, Jim penned
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