The Basketball Diaries

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Critical Analysis - The Basketball Diaries

Critical Analysis - The Basketball Diaries


This discussion will attempt to present an introduction to the literary work as well as a brief plot summary and an identification of the themes and overall genre. The discussion will give relevance to the historical perspective from the year in which the literary work was written in order to highlight what was happening in history and society during that time. The discussion will then proceed to provide an introduction to the film and a brief plot summary of the film; identifying the main themes and overall genre. This will be followed by a consideration of the historical perspective from the year the film was released in order to understand what was happening in history and society during that time.

The discussion will then move to present a comparison/contrast in order to elaborate on the manner in which the film is different from the literature. The similarities and differences between the two will also be highlighted in this regard. In the same vein, the discussion will also identify if the film is a loose, faithful, or literal adaptation. The paper will highlight the role of historical events at the time of writing in comparison to the historical events at the time of production in order to identify the change in the historical perspective that may have been influential as a result. The discussion will come to a conclusion by presenting this author's overall opinion of the literary work and film.


The literary work that is the subject of this paper is The Basketball Diaries (Carroll, 1978). The Basketball Diaries is a memoir by Jim Carroll detailing the incidents that constituted his life when he was a teenager. The Basketball Diaries was published in 1978 after Jim had made his name as a poet and a musician. The memoir not only presents an insight into the complications and intricacies that riddled Jim's life in New York when he was a teenager but also presented an (otherwise rarely found) insight into Jim Carroll's life as a heroin addict (Diggory, 2003). Most importantly, it details Jim Carroll's teenage from the days when his heroin addiction was at its peak as well as from when he attempted to recover from his heroin addiction.

Society was at a crossroads at the time when the literary work was written. It merits highlighting at this point that even though the events in the memoir took place in the mid and late 60s, the memoir was published as an edited version of Jim Carroll's diaries in the late 70s. It is therefore justified to state that a significant number of changes must have taken place between that time. Society was steadily recovering from the implications of the Cold War while the threat of terrorism was beginning to raise head. Developments in transportation and communication technology during this era was rapidly changing everyday life.

The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, ...
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