There's a lot of death in All the Bright Places. (Violet lost her sister, then Finch…and even when Finch was alive, he thought about death all the time.) There's death on pretty much every page, but we want to zoom in on two interesting and important points the book makes about suicide.
The first is busting the stereotype that people who commit suicide long for death. Finch didn't want to die; it's almost as though he committed suicide against his own will. That's because it was his disease—not his head or heart or soul or whatever—that wanted him dead.
The second is pointing out the stigma that surrounds suicide. At Finch's suicide support group, one teen points out that no one brought flowers after she tried to kill herself. Even Finch's family denies that his death was suicide; they call it an accident. Suicide is hard to talk about, which is one reason that some suicidal people have a hard time asking for help.
Questions About Mortality
- Do you think the author romanticizes suicide by quoting so many writers who killed themselves?
- Did you guess that Finch was going to die? Why or why not?
- How was Eleanor's death similar to Finch's? How were they different?
Chew on This
In helping Violet come to terms with her sister's death, Finch gave her the tools to cope with his own death.
Though Finch often thought about death, he didn't long for it. He fought his suicidal urges as best he could.