Essay on The Lost Weekend By Charles Jackson

Essay on The Lost Weekend By Charles Jackson

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In the novel The Lost Weekend, the author, Charles Jackson uses alcohol to display that the main character Don Birnam is a homosexual. The reader gets to spend six days with Birnam as he drunkenly reminisces on his past, present, and future. Although Charles Jackson does not indicate that Birnam is a homosexual, the details given suggests that Birnam is a homosexual alcoholic who spends most of the novel in gay bars.
In the beginning, the reader meets Birnam who ditches his brother on a trip out of the city. He rather binges drink and visit the local bars, stealing and borrowing money from friends and family, in order to pay the drinks. At the bar Birnam says ““Sam, I’ll have one more rye.” To celebrate, he said under his breath. To celebrate what?—and a fit of boredom, of ennui so staggering descended upon him with such suddenness that he was scarcely able to stand (19).” In this scene Birnam’s coming up with reasons to drink, deciding that he will drink to “celebrate.” There is no reason to celebrate, lying to explain his drinking. This displays that Birnam knows he should not engage in drinking, nonetheless he excuses his foolishness by lying to himself, giving him a reason to drink.
Birnams’ psychiatrist composes a contract that conditions “If I feel the urge to drink, and am able to control this urge enough to go home in the presence of my brother or doctor drink 6 bottles of beer, I agree that I shall then remain in my house two days” (54). This passage shows that Birnam excessively drinks to the point that he has to have a contract that tries to put order in his life to stop drinking. It also shows Birnams’ is such an alcoholic that he has to lock himself into the house for two days and under doctor’s orders to agree to th...


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...nd the bar, and not women, thus through both scenes Jack’s a gay bar where Birnam visits when he want to socialize with other gay men.
Don Birnam is an openly alcoholic. He steals from his family and friends to have money for the alcohol and hides it in common areas so his brother will not dispose of the alcohol. Proof of his alcoholism can be seen with the contract that his psychiatrist makes that makes him promise to stay in the house for two days if he feels he have more than 6 drinks and how often he visits bars. Charles Jackson does not give proof that Birnam’s a homosexual but he gives us a glance of his past, masturbating and reminiscing of another man, and clues that the locations that Birnam visits are gay bars made only for men. With the information provided, one can conclude that Birnam is a homosexual alcoholic who spends most of his time in gay bars.

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