Study Guide

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

By Judy Blume

What's Up With the Title?

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is not only the title of this book, it's also the most repeated phrase in this book. With the exception of a handful of chapters, it is how Margaret begins all of her talks with God.

Except when she doesn't.

Did you notice that the first part of the title is a question? For most of the book, Margaret proceeds as though the answer is yes, as though God is there and he's got his listening ears on… but eventually she gets completely fed up with religion and ices God out. After trying and trying to figure out which religion is the right religion for her, and receiving nearly endless pressure to choose, Margaret bows out of the debate completely and quits her chats with God. 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)

She hasn't decided that there is no God or anything radical like that, but she is deciding to end their regular chats and take a serious break from the dude. If he isn't going to relieve any of the pressure she feels to choose a religion, then she'd rather not speak to him, thankyouverymuch.

But don't worry—all is not lost for Margaret and God. Just as the book began with Margaret speaking to the big guy in the sky, so too it closes with her reaching out to her main man. When her period finally starts Margaret just knows God's shown up for her special day. In fact, out of the entire book, it's the only time she says, "I know you're there God" (25.42), which is a pretty sweet note to end on. (Be sure to check out the "What's Up With The Ending?" section for more on this.)