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?

10 comments:

David G. 13-14 said...

I would definitely never be the same. Getting over the fact that I caused someone to commit suicide would obviously be the first step because I would not be able to change myself if I wasn't thinking clearly. I would have to change myself though. I don't know how else I would cope with news like that if I didn't make an asserted effort to do something about it.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. If I was put at blame for someone committing suicide, I don't even know how I would react. I would feel like a terrible person and probably blame myself for the rest of my life. I would definatly live life more carefully after that. I would be alert of everything that I say to people and probably become a completely different person.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

I would also be a very changed person if someone had blamed me for their suicide. I would listen what they had to say and take it to heart. I would then probably be a mess for a while and eventually work on changing myself. I could not live with myself if I did not make a conscious effort to be a better person and treat people right. I would probably even go out of my way to make a difference because I would feel caught in a struggle to redeem my past.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

Bojana, I definitely feel like I would be the same. I cannot even predict how news like that would effect me. I am sure though that it would haunt me for the rest of my life. I would constantly be questioning myself about how I am treating the people I am around and making sure I am not causing them any negative feelings. Being put to blame for someone's suicide is a pain I hope I will never have to feel.

Erika B 13-14 said...

2. Even though it may seem harsh that Hannah called out all of the people who caused her pain during her life, I belive that she had a right to do so. Making fun of someone and contributing to someone's misery is not right, and anyone who does so should be told that they caused someone to feel badly about themself and their life. While I do not agree with Hannah decided to commit suicide, those that contributed to it should know of their wrong doing.

LibbyS5/6 said...

3) I think Hannah put Clay on her tapes because she wanted him to know how she felt about him. She wanted him to know that she was interested in him and she feels that because he nevcer got the courage to talk to her again he may be afraid of taking risks. I feel that by including him in those tapes she was teaching him a valuable lesson about how life is limited and taking risks is a good thing.

Emily C. 13-14 said...

2. i think she had a right to because it was their fault that she did what she did and they caused her to commit suicide so they should be impacted for the rest of their lives and be forced do deal with it because they caused her to do it.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

I would probably cry, not gonna lie. To be the person that caused someone else to end their life would be horrible. It would definitely change me as a person. Whatever I was doing to cause that person to take such extreme actions I would obviously stop and probably would start helping other people in that situation.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

So I almost used this book when I blogged last week and I have to say it was such a good book. To answer your first question I think that receiving Hannah's tapes would have been the most awful thing I'd ever experience in my life. It would definitely change me; there's no way you could be the same after an experience like that. I don't really know how I would respond but I know that it would probably be a very tramatic experience.
As to whether or not it was right, I don't actually know. I think it may have given those on her list some things to think about and maybe it would lead to changes in them, changes for the better but that would be me being hopeful that it would actually do anything. I think Hannah's intent was to show people how they affect people's lives even when they don't think they do and show how little actions affect people, not just to say "shame on you."

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed