Adult World

‘Adult World’: Portrait of the Artist as a Self-Indulgent Brat

Amy’s difficult relationship with Rat Billings keeps her from being a cartoon character or drawing the audience’s ire.

At 22, recent Syracuse grad Amy Anderson is sure she is already a great poet, like her hero, Sylvia Plath, the voice of her generation even. She’s going to be discovered any day now and everyone will realize, as an ‘artiste’ she shouldn’t need to worry about getting a job or paying rent or paying car insurance. She is sure the creation of her art should transcend all responsibility.
When success doesn’t immediately find her, she complains ad nauseam, that she did everything right: getting good grades, staying true to her art and refusing to get distracted by trivial things like parties and guys, so she deserves it more than anyone else. She doesn’t just want to be a successful famous poet (her father jokes that she will one day win a Pulitzer) but to be a wunderkind, a success before 23.