Examples Of Materialism In Less Than Zero

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Parents. Immediately words like loving, caring, fair, nurturing, dependable, best friend, come to mind when thinking of what a parent is. One word that doesn’t come to mind is immoral. Parents are supposed to be there for their children and teach them valuable life lessons of morality and help their child establish their own moral code. Not be a demonstration of immorality to their impressionable children. However, that is exactly how the parents in Less Than Zero behave. To describe them as parents is wrong they are merely the biological producers of children as they are more concerned with themselves and consumed by materialism than looking after their drug addicted children. Kim’s mom for example, cares more about her next upcoming film…show more content…
Neither of them completely certain of Kim’s mother’s whereabouts or who she is seeing. This goes to show how Kim’s mother has completely abandoned her daughter leaving Kim to get updates about her life through magazines and gossiping with friends. She is not there for her daughter. Obsessed with materialism the only support she provides to Kim is monetary. Thinking that she can simply buy her daughter’s love and affection by giving her money to throw endless drug fueled parties. But it doesn’t work like that. A mother is supposed to care for and provide emotional support for her child, something Kim’s mother doesn’t. Demonstrating her own hollowness and immorality and acting as a symbol for the corruption of the upper class. As critic Peter Freese wrote regarding the parents in Less Than Zero, “parents, divorced or separated, occupied by their passing affairs, intent on their success in the Hollywood industry, and obsessed by their futile attempts at preserving eternal youth, have no time for and no interest in their children, have never provided them with a functioning value system, and try to absolve themselves of their responsibility by generously writing cheques, (Freese).” This couldn’t be closer to the truth about Kim’s mother. Consumed by her own success and wellbeing she neglects her own daughter. Showing her true character is one filled with immorality and emptiness. She can’t be bothered to spend time with her…show more content…
One would think that a mother would be eager to spend time with her son who just returned from four months away at college, but not Clay’s mom. When Clay asked his mother to come with him to lunch he says, “I had asked my mother to come, but she said that she was busy. She was lying out by the pool reading Glamour magazine when I asked her to come, (144).” Clay’s mom has completely neglected her only son, claiming to be “busy” when she is only reading a magazine. This demonstrates the extent to which Clay’s mother sees her role as only providing financial support to her son. It is as if his mother doesn’t care or love her son enough to go out to lunch with him and that she thinks giving him money is good enough. She doesn’t know what it truly means to be a mother. Critic Nicki Sahlin, commented on the situation by writing,
“The parents ' failure to provide a firm foundation establishes visible sources, if not excuses, for the younger generation 's shortcomings. That these characters are virtually abandoned by their parents, while hardly registering the fact consciously, accounts for some of their more generalized feelings of anxiety and malaise. Stereotypically spoiled in material terms, they are nevertheless neglected emotionally,

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