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Turtles All the Way Down
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Turtles All the Way Down > Question #3: A First-Person Perspective

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 22, 2018 03:43PM) (new)

Turtles All the Way Down is ultimately a story about mental illness.
How did you feel about the first-person perspective of
OCD/anxiety? Did it feel authentic?

Would you recommend this novel to someone who is suffering themselves, or who has a friend or loved-one who is suffering from some form of mental illness?


message 2: by Deanna (new) - added it

Deanna | 3 comments Mod
I enjoyed reading about Aza’s experience with OCD/anxiety, told from her perspective. I especially liked how the reader was able to experience her invasive thoughts and what was going through her head at different points in time and in different situations throughout the book. It definitely provided insight into what it would be like to have thoughts enter into your mind, that affect how you experience certain situations. To me, I thought it seemed authentic given that the author also experiences the same mental illness as the character in the book, and even if he wasn’t writing about his own personal experiences, he could likely draw on what it is like to live with mental illness. I think it would be interesting to hear from someone who has read this book, who has similar experiences as Aza, and to know if it was represented well. But from what I can gather, reading different reviews, and from our discussion so far, I think John Green does a pretty good job!


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
I absolutely feel that the first-person perspective of OCD/anxiety felt authentic. I don't suffer from OCD like Aza does, but I do have anxiety, and I found her anxious thought spirals to be tremendously relatable. Aza and I definitely don't worry about the same types of things, but the irrationally negative intrusive thoughts (and her knowledge of the irrationality of them, but still being unable to rid herself of them) that she experiences throughout the novel were so real to me and very reminiscent to my own personal experiences with mental illness.

I would definitely recommend Turtles All the Way Down to someone suffering from any mental illness. Everyone's experiences are different but I'm sure there's something in this book that almost any mental illness sufferer could relate to--even maybe the familial relationships, romantic relationships, or friendships.

I would also absolutely recommend the book to anyone who has a loved one who is suffering from some type of mental illness. As was mentioned earlier in this month's discussion, I think it can help people who don't personally experience such things to become more empathetic and really get a better grasp on what it can be like for that person.


message 4: by Rocio (new)

Rocio (rociofarrell) | 64 comments The first person perspective was very effective in my opinion to bring us with the character into her feelings and emotions. I almost feel it is the only real way to communicate these experiences, the story needs to be told from the inside of the character's mind. It was very effective in making me relate to the character. I would definitely recommend this books to anyone trying to understand this type of conditions. I think that by reading this book people will find tat they are not alone and the anxiety they feel is real and specially that there is hope.


Jaime Grover (jaimborainbow) | 23 comments Mod
Rocio wrote: "The first person perspective was very effective in my opinion to bring us with the character into her feelings and emotions. I almost feel it is the only real way to communicate these experiences, ..."

I completely agree, Rocio! I don't think a story like this could effectively be told from a third-person perspective (or any other perspective for that matter). It certainly wouldn't have the same impact when taking the subject matter into account - as you said, it needs to be told from inside the character's mind!


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