Teenager's Depression In 13 Reasons Why

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Jay Asher’s TV drama “13 Reason Why ep13 “, argues that teenagers’ depression most of the reason is because of school bullying, no one tries to give them a hand when they got bullied. Asher explains that students’ behavior may affect a person’s life mentally and physically, a word or a reaction can kill them indirectly. He heightened the awareness of the consequences of daily actions. Bullying someone, or starting a rumor on somebody, can put a person under depression onto the track to suicide. Asher relies on narrative and pathos method to set up a traumatic story, most of the scene is paving based on the tragedies of a suicidal girl. However, towards the end of the drama, he attempts to appeal to readers’ emotions.

In his drama, Asher set up the filming occasion in a high school as the intended audience of this show is mostly teenagers and students who are bullying others. Teens are mostly related since school bullying is everywhere. The author is heavily packed with graphic images and actions that he thinks would impress the audience. For instance, in the scene of Hannah breaking down and self-destructing in the bathroom, he is actually trying to outline the consequence of bullying others and to raise the awareness level of our daily actions and their effects on others by putting suicide in an overly graphic and extremely painful way. Those over graphics can make the persons who bully people daily more understand the mood of people who got bullied and reflect that he is attempting to convince those people not to bully anymore.

Although Asher composes many convincing stories to influence the audience, his readers may doubt his objectivity because, at the ending of his story, Hannah committed suicide after having gone through those tragedies. The show has overexposure of an individual’s thoughts and feelings on suicide. Not only that, but it also includes very detailed and graphic depictions of her death which can be extremely triggering for an individual in the process of dealing with mental health conditions. One of the producers cited in regards to the scene, “We worked very hard not to be gratuitous, but we did want it to be painful to watch because we wanted it to be very clear that there is nothing, in any way, worthwhile about suicide.” This would be extremely damaging to someone who has already had serious thoughts on killing themselves. When these thoughts and emotions have already entered one’s mind, together with watching a super-visual presentation of that would be emotionally pivoting. Especially when that person is then being popularized because of it.

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Another critique of the show is that rather than addressing the warning signs of suicide, they simply glamorize and dramatize the problem of getting others involved. The show doesn’t encourage those with suicidal thoughts to seek help; instead, it shows what can go wrong if you do. This is a very unhealthy way to deal with suicidal behavior and only isolates the person even further. There is a scene in the show that depicts this perfectly. Hannah chooses to go see a school counselor and instead of the counselor being empathetic or helpful, he was completely incompetent, in her way of thinking. He lacked compassion and neglected all responsibility of helping this struggling student. This could be a huge trigger to those already struggling and giving them a reason to believe no one is capable of helping them. Despite the intended audience confused about the objectivity of drama, the author also uses pathos to appeal to intended readers’ emotions to strengthen the purpose of this show.

Asher effectively convinces his audience that Hannah is a victim using emotional stories. He messes with the highly sensitive emotions and pathos of the audience. The tone of Thirteen Reasons Why is somber, with elements of dark humor interlaced. The mood is tense and anxious as Clay waits for his tape to begin, and then tragic when Hannah reaches her breaking point. The scene of Hannah seeking help after she has gone through those tragedies and horrible experiences, but no one helped her eventually, it is leading the audience to a helpless mood. The author intends to create this kind of mood to let the audience stand on Hannah’s point of view, he sets up the character Hannah a helpless victim of a high school full of relentless bullies. This would obviously play off the pathos and sensitive emotions of its audience. Even more so for those who are already severely struggling with thoughts of suicide and depression.

Moreover, the author tries to use the quote ‘everything affects everything’ from the monologue to metaphor, for the sake of reminding more teenage readers to be aware of their daily behavior. He uses the ‘butterfly effect’ metaphor to reflect how the tiny gesture or behavior of her classmate impacted her whole life, this is an effective way to persuade the audience as a series of scenes are used to show how everyone bullies her of which can definitely trigthe ger audience emotion. He even argues that teenagers are so absorbed in themselves and their own feelings, they forget to be kind all the time.

​In conclusion, “13 Reasons Why” embodies a revenge fantasy. It portrays suicide as a way of gaining or achieving something. In this case, it was a way of achieving revenge against those who had wronged her. It harmfully plays off the tender feelings of its audience members and acts as a trigger to those struggling. Why and how does it do this? It is simply due to the overly graphic portrayal of suicide as a glamorized event. The author wants it to be this way as if to show the horror and pain of suicide, but instead, it only invoked a further curiosity and interest in death by suicide.   

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Teenager’s Depression In 13 Reasons Why. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/teenagers-depression-in-13-reasons-why/> [Accessed 27 Oct. 2021].
Teenager’s Depression In 13 Reasons Why [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Jul 15 [cited 2021 Oct 27]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/teenagers-depression-in-13-reasons-why/
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