Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why, a fictional novel by Jay Asher, takes the reader through the tragic journey of Hannah Baker. The novel opens up with Clay Jensen, receiving a package with no return address. When Clay opens it, he finds thirteen cassette tapes labeled one through thirteen in nail polish. The contents of the tapes horrify Clay because the tapes are the voice of Hannah Baker who recently committed suicide. Hannah explained that the tapes were to circulate to thirteen people who helped push her to commit suicide. Clay had found a map in his locker that would help guide him along Hannah's journey.
Clay listened to all thirteen tapes in one night. The further he got in the tapes, the more upset he became. Hannah had decided to commit suicide because she was tired of people taking advantage of her. She was too low to ask for help and she decided to give up. Hannah decided her best means for suicide would be an overdose of pills.
Hannah's tapes left thirteen people changed forever. Hannah let them know exactly what part they played in her decision to end her life. Some of the thirteen really did Hannah wrong but Clay could not understand why he was on the tapes. When Clay got to listening to his tape, Hannah said that Clay really should not be on there but he was part of the process. Clay had a crush on Hannah and Hannah had a crush on Clay so when they were hanging out at a party, they ended up making out. Hannah then freaked out and told Clay to leave. Clay tried to reason with Hannah but she would not have it. Hannah had already decided that she could not reach out to anyone or trust anyone. She had successfully pushed someone away who would have helped her.
Clay is left a different man after the tapes. He knows that he can never be afraid to take risks again. He was too shy to approach Hannah and now it is too late. Clay cannot undo the past but he can live the rest of his life taking risks when the time is right. It is too late for Hannah, but the people she left behind in the tapes will lead their lives differently.
1) If you received tapes that pin-pointed you as the one of the reasons for someone committing suicide, how would you respond? Would it change you as a person?
2)Do you think it was the right thing for Hannah to address the people who caused or contributed to her misery?
3)Why do you think Hannah put Clay on the tapes if he really did not do anything to contribute to her decision to commit suicide?