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Broken by Betrayal

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sarahrunciman
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Broken by Betrayal

Teenagers today face intense social issues that can have serious effects on a person’s mental and emotional health. Jay Asher in his novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, uses a unique narrative to confront the consequences of these issues, specifically the effects of betrayal. The betrayal of trusted friends and confidants, can dramatically effect an individual’s life. To begin, the continual betrayal Hannah Baker receives from those around her cripples her ability to trust new people and even to trust herself. Hannah reflects on her relationship with Courtney, “I wanted to be wrong about you, Courtney. I did. I wanted you to see it as me picking you up so we could go to a party together. And that is very different from me giving you a lift” (Asher, 101). Courtney betrays Hannah by using her for a ride to a party to maintain her image as the ‘nice, popular’ girl. Another incident of betrayal comes when Zach steals Hannah’s personal messages in Peer Communications class. Hannah says, “It might not seem like a big deal to you, Zach. But now, I hope you understand. My world was collapsing. I needed those notes. I needed any hope those notes might have offered” (Asher, 165). This quote emphasizes Hannah’s suffering at the loss of personal messages that could have provided much needed encouragement and hope. The accumulation of the betrayals that Hannah suffers means that Hannah cannot trust anyone and create meaningful relationships; as a result Hannah committed suicide.
Losing friends and loved ones over disloyalty can negatively influence a person’s emotional well-being. While Hannah was unable to overcome the emotional turmoil she suffered at the hands of betrayal, Thirteen Reasons Why, gives hope to its readers that there are true and loyal friends for everyone, you just have to take the risk to trust.…...

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