WHY “13 Reasons Why”?
April 24, 2017
What if one day you opened your door and received a box, and inside that box was 13 cassette tapes and a map? Initially, you become confused and wrack your brain trying to figure out what could possibly be on the tapes and why they were sent to you. You search for a cassette player and cautiously prop in the tape with the large 1 painted in blue nail polish, only to hear the voice of your friend who passed away a week before due to suicide. The confusion only gets worse and your emotions take control.
Those “what ifs” can all be answered in the newly-released show “13 Reasons Why.” This show was based on the New York Times #1 book of July 2011, “13 Reasons Why,” written by Jay Asher. This book and show focuses on the not-so-easy-to-talk-about topics that teenagers have to deal with every day. It is an eye-opener and a reality check for readers and viewers. It teaches important lessons on suicide prevention and how majorly the little things one says or does can impact a person to make such a permanent decision.
The movie and book “13 Reasons Why” is about a young girl named Hannah Baker. Before she kills herself, she wants to ensure her truth is known, so she records herself and tells of the thirteen reasons why she chose to commit suicide. One of those reasons was one person she had a strong connection with, Clay Jensen. As Clay listens to the tapes, he begins to understand and piece together Hannah’s story. The viewer and reader are on the same emotional roller coaster as Clay, not knowing what will happen next and not knowing why Clay is on the tapes. Everyone mentioned in the tapes feels uneasy because they do not want to be exposed for the wrongs they’ve done to Hannah. All the while, Hannah’s parents struggle to understand why their daughter chose to commit suicide and how they missed all the “signs.”
“13 Reasons Why” touches on real world topics that aren’t so easy to discuss. It brings attention to sexuality, slut-shaming, bullying, under-age drinking, rape, and, most obviously the topic of suicide. It teaches viewers and readers that the small things one says or does can heavily impact a person.It’s also reminds viewers to keep in mind that they can never truly know what someone else is going through.. These issues happen every day and teenagers often face them on their own. The audience walks away with a new found understanding and awareness about these issues.
The lessons one can learn through reading this book and or through watching this show are important not only for teenagers to learn, but adults as well. The actors and actresses do an mazing job of executing scenes that are uncomfortable, but need to be seen. This show makes you think about yourself and your own actions, as well as those others make. This show makes you want to be a kinder person. This show makes you want to reach out to those you see secretly struggling. This show crawls into your conscious and makes a home.
Overall, the show “13 Reasons Why” teaches the audience about extremely sensitive topics, and does it with grace. It touches you in ways you never could have imagined. If you have yet to watch the show, or yet to read the book, I highly recommend you do just that. If more teenagers become aware of the topics discussed in this book, maybe, there will be less teens that result to the same choice Hannah made.