13 Reasons Why

There are many reasons why people commit to certain acts in their lives. It just so happens that Hannah Baker had exactly 13 reasons why she committed suicide.

Based on the 2007 novel by Jay Asher, the Netflix Original series “Thirteen Reasons Why” has caused a stir in emotions with its viewers.

Hannah Baker was the typical girl next door. She had a beautiful smile, a great sense of humor and a bright future – or so we thought.

Hannah tries everything she could to find her place in a new high school, but she ends up feeling isolated, bullied and guilty.

The series opens with Clay, the one person in school who hasn’t wronged Hannah, listening to the first of 13 cassette tapes  Clay is the ninth person on the tapes and Hannah wants him to understand why she took her life.

So, reader, welcome to the first half of the tapes of this series.

It all starts with Justin, a basic jock who is supposed to be charming, but ends up screwing up Hannah’s reputation by telling everyone they did more than kiss and showing off an inappropriate photo of her.

After the fallout between Hannah and Justin, Hannah becomes friends with Alex and Jessica. They bond over being new and misunderstood. Later all hell breaks loose when Alex circulates a list that labels Hannah as best ass in the school and Jessica as worst. This furthers Hannah’s reputation as a slut and creates conflict between Hannah and Jessica.

Jessica is manipulated by popularity and jealousy and ends her friendship with Hannah. This lets Hannah down, but in the end they both let each other down.

As Hannah becomes more and more disconnected from school, she can no longer find comfort in home anymore because Tyler, the school photographer, is stalking her and taking private photos of her. He makes Hannah’s safe place another target.

In order to catch Tyler, Hannah decides to trust her classmate Courtney. They both stay in Hannah’s room to catch the peeping Tom and things end up getting frisky due to alcohol and the fact that Courtney is a closeted lesbian.

Tyler gets a picture of them kissing. Courtney completely changes her attitude towards Hannah, and helps spread rumors which extend the sexual harassment that Hannah receives.

It is a lot to take in, isn’t it? It makes one think about the impact actions and words have on our lives.

Well, welcome to the second half of the tapes.

Marcus believes the rumors about Hannah, and tries to use the dollar valentine’s as a way to get closer to her sexually. After Hannah declines his offer, he publicly humiliates her.

Marcus’s friend Zach consoles Hannah and then tries to pursue a relationship with her, but she declines. When she says no, Zach becomes bitter towards her and steals her notes of positivity from her bag for a class project.

Hannah knows it was Zach and writes him a note explaining how much those little notes of positivity meant to her, but Zach does not listen to this plea of help from Hannah.

Stumbling into a college fair later, Hannah finds out about an upcoming poetry night. She attends and meets fellow student Ryan, who runs the school magazine. Ryan steals one of Hannah’s poems and publishes it without her consent. People make fun of it and Hannah feels even more embarrassed.

The school year ends and a new one begins. Hannah tries to be a new person and leave the past in the past. Clay invites her to a party, and Hannah likes Clay so she decides to go.

Clay and Hannah end up hitting it off at this party and they go upstairs to be alone. They start making out and Hannah starts having flashbacks about all the guys who have hurt her. She yells at Clay to leave, then goes into a corner and cries.

While she is crying, Jessica and Justin enters the room. Justin leaves the room and lets his best friend Bryce walk in and rape Jessica while Hannah is in the closet hiding and witnessing all of this.

Hannah wonders how someone can live with this, and then reaches the conclusion that you can’t.

After watching this episode, I was angry – angry at Justin and Hannah for being cowards. I felt my cheeks burn fire and could not help but cry in frustration. How can you leave someone who is defenseless to be torn apart by some good-for-nothing piece of trash?.

Unfortunately the reality is that this happens all the time. There are people who will stand by and let others get jumped or raped by multiple people and do nothing but record it with their phones.

This is our society.

After Hannah witnesses Jessica’s rape, she leaves with Sheri, and Sheri hits and knocks down a stop sign which later kills Clay’s friend Jeff.  So, not only did Hannah feel guilty for Jessica’s rape but for the life of Jeff.

Hannah is still managing to get by, but her home life is getting stressful because of money problems, and when she loses her family’s money deposit she feels even more depressed because she let down the two people who still believed in her.

She can’t  sleep and takes a night walk, ending up at one of Bryce’s parties. Hannah is then left alone with Bryce and raped by him. This is her breaking point.

This part, I knew would happen, but I could not help myself from feeling so disoriented after watching lifelessness wash over her face during her rape.

The last person on the tapes is her counselor Mr. Porter, to whom she admits that she had been raped. He tells her that if there isn’t proof she needs to let it go.

Hannah does let it go – by slitting her wrists and laying in the bathtub to die.

Sometimes we miss these events because we are so wrapped up in ourselves. We forget about the rape victims, the abused, and the bullied. What happens to them is horrible, but we have more important things to worry about like war, money, or politics.

This series reminded me that the events in our lives are never planned. We never know what will happen. This is why we always need to make sure to have someone to confide in and feel comforted by.

Hannah was full of warmth, but when so much anguish seeped into her life she began to lose all her love for others, and more importantly for herself. We have to remember that this can happen to anyone.

“Thirteen Reasons Why” raises awareness of the wrongdoings that happen in society.

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