Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Diary of a Yuppie


The above article was written for the New York Times on August 31st 1986 by John Jay Osborn Jr and is a review of Louis Auchincloss’ book titled Diary of a Yuppie which was published in 1986.

Apart from the obvious mention in the title, the book represents yuppies because the main character is one, as he is a lawyer who is eager to succeed and reach the top of his profession. The fact that the main character, Robert Service is willing to do whatever it takes in order to fulfill his ambition, is shown by the following quote from the book. “Partnership has been my sole goal, you might even call it my obsession – throughout eight years of driving work, including most weeknights and many weekends.”

The book however, instead of focusing on how the character gets to the top, and the rewards he gets as a result, portrays the morals surrounding Robert Service’s rise, and the effect it had on the people around him, such as the rivals he bought out or his employees who he ruthlessly takes advantage of. Osborn deals with this in his review when he says that “These characters explicitly deal with issues such as the difference between family values and business values, responsibility to self versus responsibility to others and the constraints that friendship imposes on ambition. They are given to intelligent self-examination and are concerned with how well they did something, not how well they did. “ By saying this, Osborn is showing the flaws the yuppie way of life can have, if taken too seriously and that although there are rewards to being successful, there can also be problems as a result.

In conclusion, the representation of yuppies in diary of a yuppie is largely negative and is similar to the character of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. This is because the negative side of the lifestyle is portrayed, as an overwhelming desire for success could have an adverse effect through the loss of morals.

No comments:

Post a Comment