A litterary Essay on Douglas Coupland's novel, Girlfriend in a coma

Essay by PLoveHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2005

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The Search for meaning

Girlfriend in a Coma By Douglas Coupland

Patrick Love

In the novel Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland, we are introduced to characters that lack the knowledge of how to live a satisfying life. While their youth seems to be reckless and exiting, a group of friends grows old only to try to replace the search of an ideal with temporary fixes, like drugs and alcohol. But when an old friend awakens from a 20 year coma, they begin to realize one by one that they have wasted their lives by not trying to fulfill any ideal in life. Coupland tells us through his characters that life must be a search for something bigger, instead of being spent wasting away with no long term goals.

When the group of friends is young, they tend to be content with their reckless lives, and the characters often compare their adulthood to their youth.

For example, Pam says, "There's only a small fraction of 'me' left. I used to think there was an infinite supply of 'me'" pg. when she becomes an adult. This shows that when people are young, they have direction from authority, from teachers and from adults, but in their old age there is no one who will necessarily give one direction. As the friends grow old, more an more they become affected by a life of no meaning and no direction.

In their adulthood, we see that the main characters all shift into different phases, where they lose track of what it is like to be human, and their lack of direction is replaced with substitute directions that have nothing to offer but a temporary leave from reality. For example, Richard becomes a heavy drinker, and his meaning in life gets limited to...



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