Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Defence of Margo Roth Spiegelman (And John Green Books in General)

Hello! I've noticed a lot of people seem to kind of despise Margo from John Green's Paper Towns, so I decided to give my opinion.... Because I don't think she's all that bad.

The most common complaint I see about her is probably that she is generally a bad friend. Which is true, but I think we're all being a little to hard on her. Not everyone is a great friend ALL THE TIME. Sometimes you just hit a period of your life where you just become more focused on yourself than anyone else. That doesn't mean Margo's a bad person.

Margo needs to find herself (come on people that's the point of the book, well sort of), and it's difficult to both find yourself and be a good friend. I don't think it's at all unrealistic to want to take some time to find out who you are before you try to find out who other people are.

Obviously, other characters are finding themselves in Paper Towns as well, and they're not being horrible friends. They're being great friends actually.

We all find ourselves in different ways. I've definitely gone through periods of my life when I pretty terrible to my friends. That doesn't mean I was or am a bad person, that just means I needed a little reflection time. Thinking time. Time to figure life out time.

Another thing people say about John Green's books in general is that they are unrealistic. They think Margo's too perfect to possibly be real. Have you people read the book? Q imagines Margo as more than a person. She's supposed to be unrealistic. This is how Q pictures Margo, even if that's not how she is in real life. Q is actually a pretty unreliable narrator....

This doesn't really have to do with Paper Towns, but I want to say something about this as well.

John Green's characters are too smart to be teenagers, and their vocabulary is too advanced!

All I really have to say to this is, excuse me? (Well except for Augustus, he's very unrealistic, I can't argue with that. I feel like if I tried to defend him it would take awhile and it would go badly. Ask John Green.) The primary audience for these books is teenagers (though it is read by older/younger people), so if the teenagers can understand what the characters are saying, doesn't that mean their vocabulary is that big? I mean, if their vocabulary was truly unrealistic they wouldn't be able to understand it without a dictionary, right?

I'd also like to point out that Hazel is a reader, and readers tend to have bigger vocabularies than the average person. This is because we are constantly exposing ourselves to new words with content, therefore we learn new words all the time. I'm pretty sure my speech will be just as advanced as Hazel's when I'm 16. You know, after two more years going at this rate.

Also, this is kind of offensive.

I hope this post somewhat changed your view on Paper Towns/Margo/TFIOS/life/teenagers. I'm a bit annoyed about the complaints about Margo, but if you have any more please comment! Arguments, opinions, that's my kind of fun!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I just don't understand how she finds it plausible to use 'finding herself' as an excuse for what she did. Basically, she peer pressured Quentin into committing several crimes such as breaking and entering, taking part in 'revenge porn', Antisocial Behaviour, even though she knew he'd need a clean record to get into University/College which is what he wants to. So she did this all under the guise of 'making Quentin live life to the full'- there are other ways to have fun other than committing several crimes. Then she leaves clues behind, and is extremely attention seeking. She says that she didn't enjoy her first trip but she 'had to do it'. Why? Because she craved that attention, she was trying so hard to become this mysterious girl. And by the end of the story she yells at her friends for trying to find her and actually caring enough to take a 22 hour drive to find her and missing graduation. So, what has Quentin gained? He's gained criminal activity, missed graduation, lost the person he loved because she's still so intent on being a 'mystery' instead of thinking about things such as education and the future which are much more responsible ways of broadening your horizons than running away, being a criminal and being left homeless with no qualifications. There you go.