Response to Thirteen Reasons Why Essay

The book I read was Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher, the style of this book is kinda mysterious. The book develop through the two narratives shifting between the two man characters Hanna Baker and Clay Jensen. The story of Thirteen Reasons Why takes place in a small town in present time. The town is not actually named in the book, but author Jay Asher explains that many of the places Clay Jensen visits from the map are places similar to those from his own home town.

The story begins with the narrator ,Clay, revives a mail package with no return address on it. Clay opens the package and learn that there are a total of seven cassette tapes and thirteen stories that were recorded by Hanna who killed herself about two weeks ago.

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On the first tape, Hannah tells her listeners that she holds each of them responsible in some way for her death, and that the tapes will explain why.

After listening, each person must give the tapes to the next person on the list. She says that if anybody fails to pass them along, a copy of the recordings will be made public. The tapes also come with a map that listeners are meant to physically follow as they listen to her story. According to Hannah, the people on her tapes are to blame for her suicide. Clay is obviously on the tapes, but he can’t see why. He’s compelled to listen to find out, but the idea ties his brain in knots.

This conflict stays with him through the entire book, and will probably stay with him for the rest of his life. The story rises as Clay listens to the tapes and finds out the reason why other people are on the list. At the same time he gets more and more suspensive about when is he going hear Hanna talks about him in the tape and what did he do to make him part of the event. When Clay finally gets to his tape, Hannah reveals that she doesn’t actually blame him for her suicide. But Clay is starting to realize that even though he didn’t do anything bad to Hannah, he let rumors about her stand in the way of their relationship. If he hadn’t held back, he might have been able to make a positive difference in her life. This idea complicates his whole outlook on life: nothing is the way he thought it was before he started listening to the tapes.

Hannah’s death and Clay’s possible role in it is hard for Clay to take (we can only imagine). He knows Hannah’s decision was an act of self-destruction and he’s angry that he didn’t do anything to stop it. The climax comes when Clay gets so mad that he punches a fence and cuts his hand. All of the emotion that has been building up inside him is finally released and this leads the story to an end after he finds out himself in the tape. The conclusion of this book is really moving. Clay has been deeply affected by Hannah’s tapes and instead of wallowing in his anxiety, he takes some action. He puts aside fears about his reputation and reaches out to Skye Miller, potentially saving another young girl from Hannah’s fate.

We can’t know for sure how this turns out (we only hear him say her name, after all), but it’s a satisfying conclusion that makes us feel like Hannah’s death was not in vain. Theme:: The story of Thirteen Reasons Why teaches its readers to think of the effects of their actions on others, not just themselves. The story explains how the actions of thirteen peers lead a young girl to simply give up on people and take her own life. Thirteen Reasons Why is also a story of forgiveness and understanding. Hannah Baker forgives her peers, but asks them to be understanding and realize the effects of their actions. The author uses a lot of imagery in Thirteen Reasons Why. Included with the tapes Clay receives, there is a map that shows the places Hannah talks about on the tapes.

When Clay arrives at these places, he almost always gives the reader a visual of what place he is looking for. “And there it is. The neon sign of Blue Spot Liquor. On this block, only two stores remain open: Blue Spot Liquor and Restless Video across the street. Blue Spot looks just as grimy as the last time I walked by it. Even the cigarette and alcohol ads look the same. Like wallpaper in the front window.” And this obviously make the story more interested. Hannah’s tapes are numbered in blue nail polish, and she’s wearing blue nail polish the last time Clay sees her – the last day of her life. He remembers the moment: Clay. He had no idea that was the last time he’d see Hannah.

At this point, she had already recorded the tapes and mailed them to Justin Foley. Even if she were to recognize the strong feelings Clay obviously had for her, it seems she had already made her decision. Since she uses blue nail polish to number the tapes (her last words), and she’s wearing it on her last day on earth, it might symbolize the finality of her decision. This passage is the entry to the story when Clay is in the post office This reveal to the plot where Clay finished all the tapes and ready to send them to the next person on Hanna’s list.

At the same time, he is worried about how these tapes is gonna affect the next person as much as it affect himself. and the memory of Hanna appears in his mind in this passage. Everyday problems like gossip, friendship, relationships, doubt, rape and suicide are all covered in here. And the way the book is written really elevates the subject and makes the story unique. I loved the way Hannah used the tapes, and how she wove all the stories together. It was clever, and it makes me excited for anything else Jay Asher may write in the future.

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