So, I have recently finished both reading and watching the very popular 13 Reasons Why story. And I cannot wait to discuss it with you guys. As you know, it is a story about a girl, Hannah, who commits suicide and leaves a series of tapes (audio recordings) behind stating the 13 reasons (13 people) why she died.
Let’s begin the discussion:
Unearthing some deeply buried questions
I think Jay Asher has written this story phenomenally. He must be proud that his writing could successfully unearth some deeply buried questions which, we as a society, had almost forgotten. Both the TV series and the book highlight certain significant issues such as High School bullying, an increase in suicidal tendencies among children, the issue of loneliness and how to cope up with such stresses. The release of this story thus, teaches both parents & children the importance of communication and how to channel such stresses out rather than letting them build up inside. And, this type of communication is only possible when both the children and the parents would be open with each other.
Each character stands for something
Each character in the story is symbolic of one negative aspect which compels the life (Hannah) to choke itself. For instance, Bryce symbolizes the rich & powerful who can get away with anything nasty he does. He first rapes Jessica and then, Hannah. Justin Foley can be seen as the character who wants an alliance with the rich & powerful and in doing so, he has to agree to even the wrong things happening in front of him. Likewise, everybody’s character is an extension of the wrong prevailing in our society.
Hannah’s character is a bit too oversensitive/over melodramatic
Undoubtedly, it is a heart-rending tale of a girl taking her own life due to the injustice happening to her and around her. But, I found her character to be a bit over melodramatic. There are some instances which I found a bit silly. For instance, Hannah’s bashing of the Clay, her voluntarily going to Bryce’s party, etc.
Lastly, the glorification/romanticization of the suicide
Personally, I did not feel that the show romanticized the idea of suicide. There is a lot of debate going on whether Hannah’s suicide scene sort of glorifies or reinforces the idea of suicide or not. When I saw that scene, I could see how Hannah is shown feeling the pain of slitting her wrists. They did not show her enjoying the suicide. Also the tv show shows how the Bakers suffer to find out the reason(s) behind Hannah’s suicide which conveys that a suicide affects a lot of people in a lot of ways. But, it could be argued that the idea of leaving tapes behind could be received as an attractive way of committing suicide.
Let me know your thoughts & opinions on this book/show in the comments section below 😀
Happy reading <3 xoxo