Trainspotting

by

Irvine Welsh

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Trainspotting can help.

Sick Boy Character Analysis

Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson (sometimes also called “Simone” as a joke) is one of Rent Boy’s closest friends, although the two joke about being enemies then grow apart for real over the course of the novel. Rent Boy claims that Sick Boy’s nickname originally meant sick in the sense of twisted but it takes on new meaning after Sick Boy starts doing heroin and gets sick during withdrawal periods. Among his friends, Sick Boy has a reputation for having sex with almost any woman he wants, including Lesley, whose son Dawn is implied to be Sick Boy’s. After Dawn’s death, seemingly of sudden infant death syndrome while Sick Boy and Lesley are high, Sick Boy starts controlling his drug use, although he continues to have casual sex and often uses sex as an excuse to scam women out of money. Sick Boy views relationships as transactional and eventually starts his own informal business of managing local sex workers, many of whom use heroin. Near the end of the novel, Sick Boy has grown so distant from Rent Boy that he considers cutting off their friendship, but Rent Boy beats him to it by running off with the money on their last heroin deal. Sick Boy represents how addiction—both drug addiction and other addictions like sex—can take over a person’s life and cause them to manipulate other people and compromise on their personal morals.

Sick Boy Quotes in Trainspotting

The Trainspotting quotes below are all either spoken by Sick Boy or refer to Sick Boy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
).
Kicking Quotes

The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he wis trembling. Ah wis jist sitting thair, focusing oan the telly, tryin no tae notice the cunt. He wis bringing me doon. Ah tried tae keep ma attention oan the Jean–Claude Van Damme video.

Related Characters: Rent Boy (speaker), Sick Boy, Johnny Swan
Related Symbols: Heroin
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

Ah never wanted anything mair in ma life than fir her tae stoap screamin.— The bairn’s away . . . the bairn’s away. . . Dawn. . . oh my god. . . oh fuckin god, wis aboot aw ah could pick ootay the horrible sound. She collapses oantae the threadbare couch.

Related Characters: Rent Boy (speaker), Lesley (speaker), Dawn , Sick Boy
Related Symbols: Heroin
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Kicking Again Quotes

Rents picks up a stane and flings it at the squirrel. Ah feel likes, sick, ma hert misses a beat as it whizzes past the wee gadge. He goes tae pick up another, laughin like a maniac, but ab stoap um.

Related Characters: Spud (speaker), Rent Boy, Sick Boy, Begbie
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Trainspotting LitChart as a printable PDF.
Trainspotting PDF

Sick Boy Character Timeline in Trainspotting

The timeline below shows where the character Sick Boy appears in Trainspotting. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Kicking
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Mother Superior. In Leith (the Edinburgh, Scotland neighborhood where most of the book takes place), Sick Boy is shaking and sweating while the narrator (Rent Boy) tries to watch a Jean-Claude Van... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
It’s a cold day for August, and Rent Boy and Sick Boy have trouble hailing a taxi. There’s a group of men in tracksuits and bomber jackets... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Johnny isn’t a big-time dealer, so he still uses as well. As Rent Boy and Sick Boy climb the stairs at Mother Superior’s home, Rent Boy also starts to sweat. When they... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...on some music, so Raymie puts on a live version of “Heroin” by Lou Reed. Sick Boy helps Alison take a speedball of heroin (“skag”) and cocaine. Johnny offers Sick Boy a... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...see Kelly, and Alison explains that everyone knows Kelly likes Rent Boy, which surprises him. Sick Boy says Rent Boy knows nothing about women, which annoys Rent Boy. (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
The group sits and talks for a while, and then Alison and Sick Boy get up, seemingly to go have sex. Raymie, meanwhile, is off in his own little... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
In Overdrive. A different narrator ( Sick Boy ) says he’s tired of Rent Boy talking so much to him. Rent Boy wants... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Some English women of East Asian descent come by and seem to be tourists, so Sick Boy offers them directions, trying to do a suave Sean Connery voice. But they’re going to... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Stevie sees Rent Boy and Sick Boy at the party, and Sick Boy complains about how everything in the world has gotten... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
It Goes Without Saying. Rent Boy is hanging out with some friends, including Sick Boy , Spud, and Matty, when they hear a loud noise. Lesley comes into the room... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Spud and Matty panic because they can’t call the police—the place is full of drugs. Sick Boy tries to take the lead and says nobody gets to leave until they figure things... (full context)
Kicking Again
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...men. They both realize that neither of them has had sex in a long time. Sick Boy is also there, and he never has problems finding women to have sex with. That... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...a stain on Begbie’s pants and asks if he’s wet himself. Begbie gets indignant. Meanwhile, Sick Boy is scanning the bar for women. Begbie gets angrier and angrier with Rent Boy, and... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Matty leave the pub, looking like they’re ready to pick a fight with some strangers. Sick Boy brings out some low-quality ecstasy, and Spud and the others all take it. While they’re... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Boy and Dianne but thinks Rent Boy won’t take advantage of these two girls. Meanwhile, Sick Boy reaches into the one girl’s jeans, claiming to be looking for hidden drugs. They part... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...unlike him, it’s free. Two posh women start staring at the group of them, so Sick Boy says crude things to try to shock them into leaving. Sick Boy yells to the... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Boy realizes too late that “dawn” will remind everyone of “Dawn,” Lesley’s child who died. Sick Boy was likely the father. Sick Boy doesn’t acknowledge the awkwardness and just jokingly insults Rent... (full context)
Blowing It
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Ma starts talking about her long, intense menstrual periods, which embarrasses Rent Boy. Begbie and Sick Boy make fun of Rent Boy as a momma’s boy. All of a sudden, Spud’s mother... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Boy and the others relocate to a new pub. Begbie is getting wound up, and Sick Boy encourages him. Sick Boy likes when Begbie says stupid things because everyone impersonates him behind... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
At the new pub, Sick Boy points out Planet of the Apes, a man who looks like an extra from Planet... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Rent Boy confronts Sick Boy about trying to sell the woman to Planet of the Apes. Sick Boy says if... (full context)
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Deid Dugs. Sick Boy sees a skinhead walking a pit bull. He aims an air rifle at him, narrating... (full context)
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
The skinhead calls for help, and Sick Boy approaches him with an aluminum baseball bat. He sticks the bat under the dog’s collar... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Rent Boy finally becomes lucid again, he doesn’t know how much time has passed, but Sick Boy is there with his parents. Sick Boy charms Rent Boy’s parents, and they soon believe... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
When Rent Boy’s parents leave, Rent Boy asks Sick Boy for heroin, but Sick Boy is trying to stay away from the drug-selling crowd so... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sick Boy mentions that he heard recently from a woman they both know that Rent Boy had... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
As Sick Boy predicted, Rent Boy’s pain starts to go away, but he has to endure the worst... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...bar, Rent Boy runs into an old school friend. She used to have sex with Sick Boy and asks how he’s doing. Rent Boy says Sick Boy is off somewhere dealing drugs,... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...a total role reversal of how they used to be. Begbie is on holiday, and Sick Boy has gone to France to live with a new woman. Throughout the day, Rent Boy... (full context)
Exile
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...it’s hypocritical that Alison wants to criticize Rent Boy when Alison has had sex with Sick Boy . Kelly says Rent Boy isn’t a junkie and only uses heroin sometimes, which Alison... (full context)
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
The Elusive Mr. Hunt. Kelly is working as a bartender. Sick Boy comes up to her and asks if she’s seen Mark Hunt. She says she’s seen... (full context)
Home
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...on together with Matty. This pacifies Begbie at first, but then he suddenly says that Sick Boy should have been at the funeral. (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
At the pub, Spud tries to defend Sick Boy for missing Matty’s funeral, saying Sick Boy is in France, and so it would’ve been... (full context)
Exit
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...took his first shot of heroin in months to calm his nerves. Begbie complains that Sick Boy hasn’t shown up yet. In fact, Sick Boy is standing nearby watching them, waiting until... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sick Boy finally leaves Molly and joins the others. He notices that Begbie seems tense and worries... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Molly comes up to the bus, calling for Sick Boy . Sick Boy tells the others he’ll just be a moment and goes to see... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sick Boy complains privately to Begbie that Rent Boy and Spud broke their promise to stay clean... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...perhaps feeling better that the police haven’t come yet. Rent Boy picks an argument with Sick Boy about whether Lou Reed made better music solo or with the Velvet Underground. Sick Boy... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...who seems to be a backpacker. As a prank, Rent Boy starts burning some of Sick Boy ’s ponytail, causing Sick Boy to get angry and leave them all to join the... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
Begbie’s speed kicks in, and he needs someone to talk to now that Sick Boy has left. Rent Boy pretends to sleep and wakes Spud up so that he’ll be... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...last, they make it to the hotel of Andreas, the man they’re going to see. Sick Boy met Andreas through a woman they both went out with, pulling off several small-time scams... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
In the present, Andreas sets Sick Boy and the others up with Peter Gilbert, a successful drug-dealing middleman. They haggle over the... (full context)
Addiction and Society Theme Icon
Scottish Identity Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Sex, Libido, and Gender Norms Theme Icon
...Holland, Rent Boy feels relief but also some guilt about what he’s doing. He and Sick Boy went through some good times, even if they were growing apart. The only one Rent... (full context)