Study Guide

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. What's Up With the Ending?

By Judy Blume

What's Up With the Ending?

Reunited and it feels so good… Were you worried Margaret and God would never get back together? We have to admit we were. Not because a girl needs God to get by, but because Margaret seemed to have a really good thing going with the big guy in the sky. As her closest confidante, we worried about how she'd navigate her teenage years without someone to spill all of her secrets and worries to.

Margaret ditches God after her grandparents and parents get in a fight about Margaret and religion. It's the straw that breaks the camels back, and after months of pressure to pick a religion and doing her darnedest to do so, Margaret decides to wash her hands of the whole thing. She says:

I was never going to talk to God again. What did he want from me anyway? I was through with him and his religions! (21.27)

God is tangled up in the religion debate, and she's asked him plenty of times to help her with her struggle to choose. He hasn't alleviated the pressure she feels—nor has he shown her the right choice to make—so she bows out and decides she will no longer be speaking to him.

But then Margaret gets her period. It's almost like God is saying I'm sorry or something, because she gets it right before she leaves for camp and just in time to not be the last in her group of friends to get it. Phew, right? Margaret certainly thinks so. After a book in which God has been silent and not shown Margaret a single sign, she seems to credit him with starting her period. She says:

Are you still there God? It's me, Margaret. I know you're there God. I know you wouldn't have missed this for anything! Thank you God. Thanks an awful lot… (25.42)

That she thanks God lets us know that she thinks he's responsible for the fact that her period's finally arrived (otherwise she wouldn't thank him). Importantly, this is the only time Margaret outright says that she knows God is around in the entire book. Her period is physical, tangible proof of his existence as far as Margaret's concerned, and now that he's shown himself—and shown up for her in a way that means a whole heckofa lot to her—she's ready to pick their friendship back up. Yay.