Thirteen Reasons Why-Literary Elements

The narrator of Thirteen Reasons Why is Clay Jensen a boy who liked Hannah Baker, the girl who killed herself. Clay received some tapes in the mail from an unknown sender and on the tapes, Hannah Baker is revealing all of the people who had a part of or is a reason of her taking her life. He is a very trustworthy narrator because he liked Hannah and he is trying to find the truth, not trying to cover his tracks and make it seem as though he is a good person, when he is not. Because of this he is not biased in anyway, in fact he is probably the best suited in terms of fairness and legitimacy of the story, also he is discovering the story with us, the readers, so it’s not like he can patch the story anyway.

The repeating elements of this novel are regret, and guilt. The regret is from Clay repeatedly stating throughout the book that he wishes that he had done something to help her, and possibly preventing her suicide, which leads directly into guilt especially after he finds out his part in the whole thing, he realized that if anyone could have saved her, it was him, and he didn’t. This would make anyone feel guilty, if they knew that they could stop the suicide of someone else, even though it is not limited to just suicide.

In this story there is not that much dialogue because Clay is listening to a tape, however there are some points in the story when Clay talks to people like Marcus and Tony, both of which give a look into the mindset of Clay and his story, this is mostly the case with Tony though. Clay’s more enlightening talks with Tony are based around what Hannah said about Clay.

Conflicts- the main conflict is embedded in the idea of tapes; sending them to the people that she blames for her suicide. Clay is obviously on the tapes, but he cannot see how he could be on them. He feels as though he must to listen to find out how, 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 main theme of the book is depression, it is depression because Hannah Baker committed suicide and so, of course the leading cause of suicide, is depression. Throughout the story, Hannah is revealing the stories of her depression and how things have affected her, leading to the escalation of her depression and her suicide.

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