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Senior Thesis

             Not everyone can live life in luxury with fine furs and pools of crisp, green money. Society appears to be covetous of these "elite" few. Yet, it is quite the contrary; life an not be fulfilling if not problems arise. There would be no thrill, no enigma, and a definite lack of crystallized intelligence. But, it is agreed on, that without obstacles, life is meaningless. .
             Gemma, in the novel Smack by Melvin Burgess, is a rebellious young teenager. She has complications with her parents as most 14-year olds do. She also has a boyfriend, Tar, who is a victim of drunken child abuse. Set in Northern (and Conservative) England, the two adolescents decide to bravely start their own lives - together - and run away.
             "Chasing the dragon it's like Chinese magic that smoke coils about in your veins and you feel better than anyone else ever did," (Burgess 150). Some people deal with stress with medication. Others, like Gemma turn to heroin. As long as you know the effects and possible addiction to your body, go for it. And that's what Gemma, Tar, and their company did. They essentially became "junkies," or consistent heroin users. But after this mind-expansion experience, Gemma says to her mother, "I want to come home Mum, can I come home, Mum, please?" (Burgess 259) Gemma has effectively learned respect, independence, and the gain of knowledge. Perceiving people and identifying dangerous situations are basic schematic stages one must enter and accomplish, and hey, the earlier the better. Who cares how you get there?.
             Heroin is a barrier of life. Not everyone may experience it, but it certainly presents a big obstacle in life. Any person who can overcome addiction to Heroin and still experience the glories of low times (as a drug abuser usually does, spending time in a daze of sedation) deserves great human praise, and respect. .
             Without these obstacles, Gemma (or anyone else) would not have learned imperative life skill.

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