Bright Lights, Big City and Model Behavior are two stories, which effectively convey a theme of self-discovery. Specifically they illustrate the lives of characters that can't come to terms with the problems in their lives. Until we as individuals and as a society come to realize our faults and tribulations we will never truly be able to grow. .
Both novels by Jay McInerney have many similarities. Drug and alcohol abuse are what embody the theme of self-destruction, which is found throughout both novels. The theme of self-destruction is most prominent in Bright Lights, Big City. It's the story of an unnamed narrator whose luck can't seem to get worse. His model girlfriend leaves him, he loses his job as a fact-checker at a prestigious magazine and tries to lose his pain in an endless round of parties, cocaine and booze, all while coming to terms with the death of his mother. The narrator finds that the only way he can come to terms with the problems he is having, is by snorting coke and consuming large amounts of alcohol. He compares a day in his life to "purgatory a kind of half sleep " Though he appears to be aware that he has a problem with cocaine and alcohol he never really admits it. He calls them his shameful addictions, yet even at that he states that reading The New York Post a trashy tabloid is his worst, no!.
t his addiction to coke. His best friend in the novel name Tad Allagash holds a strong influence over the narrator, "He is either your best self, or your worst self " Allagash is an influence which the narrator is blind to see as a negative one. Allagash is the one whom the narrator relies upon for drugs and is often the one who accompanies him to the many parties and clubs that he attends. The narrator doesn't come to terms with his problems until the end of the novel, seeing his ex-wife with another man adds closure to his relationship, which he dwelled upon for most of the book as a personnel failure.