Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
Thirteen Reasons Why Theme of Guilt and Blame
Hannah Baker isn't kidding around where this theme is concerned. No doubt about it, the tapes in Thirteen Reasons Why are a huge guilt trip – she admits this freely. She wants her listeners to feel bad about the way they treated her and to treat people better in the future. But as much as she makes other people feel guilty, she also feels plenty of it herself. She feels responsible for Jessica's rape, and for the boy who's killed after Jenny runs down a stop sign. She doesn't trust herself to do the right thing any more than she trusts the people on the tapes. Her guilt over her role in these crimes seems to drive Hannah over the edge.
Questions About Guilt and Blame
Clay's feelings of guilt over Hannah's death fuel his personal growth.
The people on Hannah's list should be given the chance to respond to her allegations. Readers need to keep this in mind before making up their minds about the various characters.