How does Burgess make the novel Junk realistic for his intended audience?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

It's an essay to show how does Burgess make the novel ‘Junk’ realistic for his intended audience? It's about teenagers experiencing their life with drugs.

How does Burgess make the novel ‘Junk’ realistic for his intended audience?
The novel ‘Junk’ by Melvin Burgess is a story of two young teenagers, Tar and Gemma. Tar often gets beaten up by his Dad and Gemma parents don’t want her to have a relationship with Tar. The only way for them to be together is to run from home and start a new life.
The character ‘Tar is very easily led by others in the novel such as Gemma. In such case as when Gemma is having fun at the gig, “Tar was still standing by the bar.” Tar also comes across being very shy as after a party at which they meet ‘Lily’ they were walking down the road, “Lily was wearing nothing except a black string vest”, “I began to feel I was being paranoid.”
Another character ‘Gemma’ is very selfish and has to have it her own way, otherwise she “screams and ran out of the room”. She thinks of her parents being cruel to her by not letting her see Tar anymore she thinks “someone ought to give parents lessons.” She speaks her mind even though it may not be the right thing to say. Characters such as ‘Lily’ have a big impact on her, when they first met at the party they formed an instant bond together. This led Tar and Gemma to move in with Lily and Rob (Lily’s boyfriend); however they soon found out that they were junkies. It was only a matter of time before Tar and Gemma too were addicted to smack.
While Tar and Gemma were staying with Lily and Rob they had to survive by which Lily and Gemma became prostitutes and Tar and Rob started stealing food and other items from shops across town. A major turning point for all of them was when they found out that Lily was pregnant. They all decide to come clean and get away from Bristol into the country to help them on their mission. Unsuccessfully, it failed. At the end, Gemma’s pregnant and Tar goes to rehab, and fortunately they manage to get off the smack and they go back to their normal lives. Remembering the fact that Gemma was just 14, a teenager and when eventually the novel ends Gemma is an adult at 19.
The intended audience for this book is for teenagers and showing the effects of drugs. The language is quite informal as this makes it easier for the audience to read and understand the novel. It makes it more realistic as to what a teenager would talk like. The book is written by many different characters, each one writes a chapter in 1st person, which gives the reader a description of them and gives their point of view across.
Almost the whole story takes place in Bristol. There are a lot of squats in this village so there are also a lot of people who live on the streets. It’s not a friendly neighbourhood and most of the time it is cold and dark. This gives us the impression that Bristol is a very dangerous and a bad enivronmental place for people to live. Burgess has made the novel ‘Junk’ very realistic for his audience as for one, he has made the characters realistic by basing them around a stereotypical teenager/s. He has made the setting realistic because Bristol does have a problems with squatters and junkies, he wrote it from different people in 1st person to make it easier for us so we can understand what it going on. He made it in such a way that you could believe it was a true story.

Submitted: February 04, 2009

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