The being read. Listening to other people’s

April 9, 2019 Teaching

The novel 13 Reasons Why, written by author Jay Asher in 2007, is an young adult book based on a young teenage girl’s life. As a high school student, she submerges into sorrow caused by deception and bullying, pushing her to reach suicide as her only option. While reading this book it sent me on a very emotional roller coaster ride, being able to heavily relate to the two main characters mindset and emotions made me understand what was being read.

Listening to other people’s opinions about the book tended to be quite interesting as we had contrasting opinions about why Hannah Baker decided to end her life. Many others thought that it was selfish and petty, instead of my perspective, having related to Hannah, I understood the issues which others may not have, relating them back to my past experiences. I accepted why Hannah chose to take her life, although I do not condone her actions. I feel as if my peers who had a negative opinion of Hannah did not fully understand the impact and effect that the indicative actions were having upon her, much like the thirteen people on the tapes. This is why I feel It’s so important for more books like this to be published as many more people can become aware of these events that occur on a day to day basis. It also made have an even more understanding of the in depth consequences and that they can immensely impact someone’s life as well as the overall purpose of these tapes. Some people see the tapes as blackmail but I saw it as proof. You never know how malicious kids can be and make up stories as to why Hannah killed herself, putting the blame on her so I see the tapes as proof, like a reasoning as such.

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I think the book was a great Idea, letting people know what actually goes on behind the scenes instead of calling people selfish for commiting suicide. Having Hannah explain why she commited suicide helped me and I’m sure many others who read the book her exact reasoning and many ways we as individuals can prevent this sort of issue. The tapes Hannah made for the 13 people who prompted her to take her own life really interested me and left me wanting to read more, as each reason really intrigued me to keep on reading.
The reason I found myself relating to Clay was because he wanting to always keep listening to the next tape, I felt as if i was in his shoes a lot of the time, hearing the tapes through his ears and to perceive this journey with him. Each tape I found to be very suspenseful and dramatic. The idea and the curiosity of which tape Clay would be featured on, together with what his story was gave me a sense of impatience and eagerness.

The tape where Mr Porter ( The School Counselor ) featured on was tape 13. This was Chapter 15, cassette 7, side A. This was when Hannah was at her worst, she felt alone, beaten and very depressed. She approached the counselor, Mr Porter and expressed her feelings. It was very obvious that Mr Porter was her last chance and her final hope, failing to provide Hannah with what she wanted to hear, therefore being one of the last events which caused Hannah to make the final decision to take her life. Many people believe that Mr Porter didn’t do enough to help Hannah as he didn’t apply the best teaching methods of advice and maybe if he did, she would had lived so it was partially his fault. I believe that Mr Porter did what he could and gave the best possible advice, he couldn’t take the situation any further because Hannah never said she was suicidal and she never said that she was raped. Yes, Mr Porter did tell Hannah to move on, but he only said this because she wasn’t going to tell him what actually happened, which I agree with. Hannah can’t expect him to do something if she won’t talk about the situation. Yes, it is difficult to talk about things, but what I have learnt from past experiences is that if you talk and open up, things do get better and it does help. Maybe if Hannah did that she would have stayed alive.
The meeting with the counsellor was her final proof she needed that nobody cares enough to try and save her. At this point in the chapter I had many different emotions run through me. I really felt for Hannah while reading through this book as I can relate to her as it’s not easy to talk about these kind of things.

It makes me question if I knew Hannah would I be able to notice what she was going through?
How many other people are going through the same kind of deal as Hannah and what can I do to prevent this? What I learnt from this novel is that you never truly know or understand what goes on in a person’s life even though they are smiling on the outside doesn’t mean that the pain on the inside isn’t intolerable. This novel helped me understand that the overall meaning behind the story is you can ruin someone’s life, possibly even end it, just by one small action.

I would highly recommend the novel 13 Reasons Why written by Jay Asher because it causes awareness of what goes on behind the scenes with bullying and that it can lead to suicide. Yes, it is a touchy subject, but maybe if we talked about suicide more often then perhaps the suicide rating for New Zealand would be lower than 15.6 per 100,000 people. We need to be continuously teaching kids from a young age what is okay and what isn’t okay and what those consequences can lead to and that’s exactly what this book has done. This novel does have a huge impact on people that read it and it’s addressing the fact the more and more people are taking their lives because of how others treat them.


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