Naked Lunch Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How is the plot structure of “And Start West” different from the plot structures of the other vignettes in the novel?

The novel opens with a clear plot structure, though the reader will not be aware of why William is running away until the end of the novel. Unlike later sections of the book, this opening chapter follows a traditional plot structure in which events are described in time order.

2. William looks down on the other passengers of the bus because they do not know anything about the drug subculture but pretend to in “And Start West.” Why is this significant to the novel’s themes?

Here, William draws clear lines between “normal” society and the world that he lives in. At later parts of the novel, William recreates a different standard of “normal” through his various fantasy locations in which drugs and homosexuality are treated as commonplace.

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