Turtles All The Way Down & Green's Struggle [Blog Post 3 for School]

 Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's newest book, and, probably one of the most emotional. That is, if you know where the idea came from.


Maybe you've read all of his books, like I have, and still think The Fault in Our Stars, a book about two teens living with cancer, or An Abundance of Katherines, where a boy only falls in love with girls with his mother's name, or any other book, is sadder. Maybe you know The Fault in Our Stars is based on Esther Earl, a girl Green actually met, and was friends with, who died of cancer. But maybe you didn't know that Turtles All the Way Down is based on John Green's own internal struggle, and one without a cure, one that hangs out in your mind like a dentist's waiting office. Cancer, of course, is very unfortunate and sad, but there can be - and will eventually be - a cure. For alot of people struggling with mental issues, a cure isn't an option, and may never be an option. Like a 47 year old still in their emo phase, you just can't get out of it - out of that mindset. 


When Turtles All the Way Down was written, John Green himself was struggling with OCD and anxiety, the kind that was a mix of germophobia and self-disgust, as far as can be told from articles and the novel itself. Aza, the main character, has an obsession with germs, and is terrified of them, specifically stomach germs. Green's own emotions and personal issues are reflected in Aza, whether it be metaphorical or literal. Green, also, has placed Aza and her friends in the same Indiana location as his childhood home, with the white river nearby. 


The social and political themes the author toys with in this novel are similar to, but opposite of, others in previous books. This one, for instance, reflects on economics and pop culture, such as the Star Wars series and fandoms. This is like The Fault in Our Stars, which involves pop culture, specifically fandoms and popular books, and also the themes of politics, which is brought up when Augustus and Hazel talk about the novels the novel itself revolves around, leading to the trip to Amsterdam, and Hazels quote-on-quote 'implosion' that 'hurts everyone around her' and Hazel and Augustus' relationship. Anyway, the themes presented in Turtles All the Way Down are ones relating to our own culture in the US, and important issues the entirety of the country ensued, as well as ones Green battled alone.


When John Green wrote this, he showed alot of himself in this, and it is a good thing. He reflects on his own childhood and personal problems, and how his life was relatively normal, but he had his own things he lived with, that latched on and never left when he left Indiana. Just like Aza.



Turtles All the Way Down - John Green