Trainspotting Q

So, Renton screws Diane and then finds out she’s still a schoolgirl. Just how young did that make her? 16? 15? He’s justifiably scared of the consequences. But how old was he? I figure early 20’s but it’s hard to be sure with someone in such poor physical condition as a heroin junkie. (McGregor pretty much starved himself to get that heroin chic look for the part). If he’s in his 20’s and she’s only 14, damn right he’s scared. But what if he’s 18 and she’s 17? Is it still as bad under Scottish law as he makes it out to be?

16 is legal in UK so she must have been younger than that.

Eeeek. Man, I’d be creeped out big time if I found out that I’d screwed someone that young. Even if I was only 19 or so at the time.

Don’t have my copy of the book to hand, so this is from memory, but…

After being introduced to her parents in the morning, they say something about her having exams coming up. He thinks “Please let them be Highers… let them be Highers…” and then her parents say “… her O Grades”. That’s the key to her age - if it was Highers she’d definitely be 16, if it’s O Grades she’s very, very likely to be 15.

Diane’s 15 in the film and 14 in the book.

How about Renton, then?

I don’t know how authoritative this website is, but here is a link to what is claimed to be a transcript of the shooting script:

The scene with Diane’s parents begins:

Double Eeeek then.

It’s ages since I’ve read the novel, but isn’t the chronology that Renton has gone to university and then dropped out? Which would roughly put him in the age range of 17-21.

FWIW, I was born in '67, was in Edinburgh in the period of the novel and was always under the impression that Renton was almost exactly the same age as me, even if we would have else little in common. I did very much recognise some of the locations.

Never read the book, but I thought the movie made it clear she was underage.
Also, why don’t the parents seem to mind?

It’s been years since I saw this movie, but presumably Diane’s big thing about how Renton could stay if he liked but NOT in her room was to preserve the appearance that she had not had sex with him. Her parents were kind of clueless (or willfully naive) and accepted that Renton was just some friend who’d crashed on the couch that night.

It begs the question would the parents of a 15 (or 14) year old realistically be cool about their daughter having a 20-something year old friend staying over?

In the book he talked about how she was obviously pretty experienced at having sex and knew what she was doing. Every family in the book is very dysfunctional, and her’s is no different. I think willingly naive explains it, although the father seems to strongly suspect what’s going on.

IIRC, in the book when Renton wakes up in the morning and goes into the kitchen and sees the parents, he tries to explain away his crashing on the couch and his obvious hang-over by saying something like “you only turn 21 once!” - with the implication that he is actually older than that.

Also, in the movie when Renton asks her parents if they are her flatmates, one of the parents says “flatmates, I must remeber that one!”, so it seems that Diane has brought lots of these kinds of guys home. I agree that it’s weird that they don’t seem to care.

Now that I think about it, all the parents seem to be clueless and forgiving in this flick. Spuds girlfriends parents are quite understanding of Spuds previous bender. Rentons folks seem to be more concerned that he was almost about to go to prison than the reason why. It isn’t until they have to pick him up from the hospital that they get serious. I wonder if this was just a plot device to allow the main characters to go about their actions, or if the author was making a point about uninvolved parents contributing to the kids problems.
Here are some apostrophes: ‘’’’’’’’’’’ Distribute them through that paragraph however you see fit.

About the parents not minding, it might be a cultural thing. I am not Scottish, Irish or English, but from most movies/TV/books (for instance The Snapper) that are set in these places in the eighties and ninetees I get the feeling that this the way ‘workingclass’ families function. Kids live at home for a long time and get drunk (often in the same place as their parents) and have sex at home. I know it isn’t uncommon in other countries as well; here in Holland I’ve also heard of 15/16 year olds spending the night at each other’s place with the parents watching TV downstairs. This is all with the idea that if they want to do it, they will, so it’s better to have them do it somewhere safe…or somethin like that. But maybe some british (or Irish) dopers can say more about this.

Arguably the parents in the book didn’t know exactly how old Renton was.

My parents are Scottish, but I was raised in North America. I do remember that in high school my parents were much more permissive and even casual about sex, nudity, and drinking than most of my friends parents were. eg., I was always allowed to go into my room with my boyfriend with the door closed, and my parents would knock and wait politely if they did want to talk to me. He did even spend the night a few times. There was a box of condoms in our family bathroom that was kept full without questions. My friends thought that all this was crazy (and also cool, I must say).

Having said all that, my parents would not have been down with it if I had brought home different guys every night, or if they appeared to be 20-something strung out heroin addicts. They also wouldn’t have been thrilled with me being out in the middle of the night alone like Diane was, and they never provided with me with enough money to even think about going clubbing and taking a cab home.

So I’m not sure if this is culture alone.

Diane apparently doesn’t think her parents would be okay with her having sex with Renton (or others like him) – otherwise she wouldn’t have made such a big deal about how he couldn’t stay in her room.

I used to sleep with my girlfriend at her Mum’s house. The girlfriend was still at school and I was in my first year out of school. She would’ve been 16, maybe 17 years old.