13 Reasons Why: Did Hannah Overreact?


“Overreaction most times lead to unfavourable consequences,” said by author, Tony Payne. Everyone who has read 13 reasons why by Jay Asher, usually feels bad for Hannah (the protagonist who killed herself) and what happened to her. However, in some parts she overreacted.  

    Hannah Baker is a high school student from liberty high who commits suicide, leaving behind recorded tapes that indicate 12 people as the 13 reasons why she killed herself. Clay Jensen, a classmate of Hannah, is the narrator of the novel.

    Hannah Baker is portrayed as a victim by the author which makes the readers feel empathy for her. However, she’s seen overreacting to certain situations that could’ve been handled better. As shown from page 100, Courtney Crimson one of Hannah’s “friends” who was a “perfect” girl, asked Hannah to go with her to a party to keep up her perfect reputation and Hannah knew this, “ and although [she] was still suspicious, you are who you are and everyone wants to go to a party with [courtney].” Hannah still went to the party and met a guy who overheard Courtney talking about her. At page 114/116, “Ready for this, everyone? Our sweet little Miss Crimson told this guy, and whoever else was standing within earshot, that I have got a few surprises buried in my dresser drawers… this was not a part of her plan. She only invited me to the party to clear her beautiful name after ignoring me for so long. A permanent photograph linking us to one another was not supposed to happen. Courtney try to pull out of my grip. ‘I… I don’t want to,’ she said.” In this scene you can see how Hannah overreacted since she knows the fact that there isn’t anything in her dresser, therefore she could have handled this situation better by confronting Courtney rather than making her do something against her will which isn’t what Hannah would ever do. This could’ve had better outcomes for her. She blamed Courtney for the party, as Courtney was the one who invited her, but in reality Hannah is the one who allowed the reason to happen.

    In addition, at page 143 Hannah’s date (Marcus) who she barely knew, started touching her at a restaurant which she didn’t find pleasing so she pushed him. What Marcus did was wrong, but she did overreact as she started to blame others, strangers, around her for the fact that she got herself into that situation.“So you’d think people would’ve started laughing. Unless, of course, they knew it wasn’t an accident. So they knew something was going on in that booth, they just didn’t feel like helping. Thanks.” Some people don’t like to interrupt others business and Hannah does know this since she has been one of them before. Therefore, she could have called the police for sexual harassment, instead she decides to blame strangers for something she let happen. Hannah was the one to agree on the date, even though she knew what type of guy Marcus is.

    Similarly, towards the beginning of the book Hannah won “best asses” in freshman class from a list. This later caused Wally (one of Hannah’s classmates) to grab Hannah’s ass in a store, with the list being his excuse for his action. He should not have done that in the first place to Hannah, however, after it happened she overreacted to the situation. For instance at page 51, “action number one: Grabbing my ass. Interpretation: Let me back up and say that this guy had never grabbed my ass before. So why now? My pants weren’t anything special. They weren’t overly tight. Sure, they were slung a little low and he probably got a hip shot, but he didn’t grab my hips. He grabbed my ass.” This scenario makes the reader understand why this is one of Hannah’s reasons, as the list objectified her to many of the high school boys. Nonetheless, she didn’t call the cops. Instead she just complained about it in her head, therefore this lead to her overreacting to the other 12 reasons why she killed herself.

    To conclude, through the dialogue and inner thoughts, the text reveals how Hannah Baker overreacts in certain situations that one could have better handled. Additionally, due to these overreactions, it unfortunately leads upon her death, which could have been avoided if she had handled the situations more appropriately and sharply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *