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“Let the Great World Spin” is a sweeping novel by McCann’s that brings together a number of characters who form their social interaction and where a variety of historic and social issues are introduced. It is done through the ways in which these characteristics are related. Due to living in New York the bigger picture of the city’s background and the real social situation is brought out. It is the lifestyle of the characters that exposes them to the various vices in the society with drug addition being the main one. Most of the characters in the book were either drug addicts or interacted with other characters. The drug issues affected the victim’s life style, fate and carriers. The set up of the New York town also contributed to an increase in drug use in because of its open and free flowing drug trafficking and use (McCann 12).
The story introduces different characters who seem unrelated but later come out to be related in so many ways. One of the things linking these characters is the use of drugs or dealing with the drug addicts. Characters like Lara and Blaine are directly involved in drugs. This involvement has direct impacts on their way of life. They have to keep on moving from place to place in an effort to try and escape their past that was characterized by alcohol and drug abuse. Corrigan was not directly involved in drugs but his line of carrier made him interact directly with the drug users. Drug abusers freely roamed in the Expressway where he lived.
The place and time set of the book perfectly encouraged drug circulation and addiction. The set of the book is the City of New York in the late 70’s when crime and drug addiction were high. Most of the new Yorkers at that time were struggling with life and disillusioned. The neighborhood was drug-infested and rough with the most culprits being children and women affected by drug addiction and poverty. The every day scenario of the illegal system in the city was a clear evidence of how most of the New Yorkers were into drugs. Drug addicts paraded administration justice courts everyday meaning that the existing legal laws were not tight enough to deal with the drug situation in the city. Even those members of the society who were supposed to salvage the city’s situation are seen to closely associate themselves with the addicts. Corrigan, who was in a religious mission in the city, hosts a number of prostitutes. The prostitutes use drugs while in his bathroom filling it with tampons and condoms (McCann 45.