13 Reasons Why: A Wake-up Call
13 Reasons Why is a necessary wake-up call for society. In the series 13 Reasons Why, Hannah Baker makes 13 tapes, each describing a person and how they contributed to her decision to end her life. I’d like to believe there are definitely more than 13 reasons, but which ones can be amended after her death? The main argument against the series is that it doesn’t go deep enough into Hannah’s depression and explain the chemical aspects of it. Depression may be partly caused by a chemical imbalance, but there are social factors that feed it as well. Although it is important to emphasize that depression goes deeper than just bullying, peer pressure, or family problems, it doesn’t mean all of these things aren’t huge factors that contribute to thoughts of suicide. Can she make a change to her school by discussing the science behind chemical imbalances in her brain or would she achieve much more by attempting to change how people treat others? 13 Reasons Why presents situations that occur every day in school, whether it be a supposedly “good person” who’s actually an active contributor to someone’s depression or blackmail because of a situation that was completely misunderstood. Things are taken out of proportion in high school and people feed on drama and rumors. The most well-liked people may be the reason for why someone doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and the people who no one talks to may be the essential rock for someone else to lean on. It’s also hard to be able to tell your side of the story when it seems like all of the odds are against you, which Hannah was only able to do on tapes after she took her own life, so hopefully it sends out the message that there are two sides to every story and it’s important to know both before judging the situation.
Some consider the reasons Hannah Baker listed to be “little” but that’s exactly it, little things add up and little things are big things to different people. It’s all a matter of perspective. You never know what another person is dealing with and what you consider to be a “little thing” might just be enough to drive them over the edge, which is what the series showed obviously through Hannah’s multiple dilemmas at a time. 13 Reasons Why makes others realize that often the people that cause pain for others are the unsuspecting ones. It makes others think about the damage they could’ve done to not only a young girl but also her family and friends. The aftermath of suicide is shown in the series, which isn’t something many consider when ending their lives. The message behind 13 Reasons Why isn’t solely to make people take the blame for a young girl’s suicide, but it’s to make people reevaluate their actions because of the fact that how they’re treating people is cruel enough to make a girl want to kill herself one day.