the protagonist

"Look how black the sky is, the writer said. I made it that way." - Bret Easton Ellis

The pursuit of individual happiness has been acknowledged as a universal right. Yet the existing social conditions make the individual feel powerless. He lives in the contradiction between what he is and what he would like to be. Either he then becomes fully conscious of the contradiction and its causes, and so joins the political struggle for a full democracy which entails, amongst other things, the overthrow of capitalism; or else he lives, continually subject to an envy which compounded with his sense of powerlessness dissolves into recurrent day-dreams.

— John Berger, “Ways of Seeing” (pg 148)

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