Study Guide

Paper Towns The Home

By John Green

The Home

Part 1, Chapter 5
Margo Roth Spiegelman

"If I ever end up being the kind of person who has one kid and seven bedrooms, do me a favor and shoot me." (1.5.18)

Margo doesn't seem to be the type to settle down. She wants her home to be a place on the go.

Part 1, Chapter 6
Quentin Jacobson

From above, Orlando was pretty well lit. […] "It's beautiful," I said. (1.6.27)

This is another place where Margo and Quentin differ: Quentin thinks Orlando is pretty, but Margo practically barfs over the side of the building. Even though she's been raised here, it isn't her home.

I felt entirely alone among these big and empty buildings. (1.6.1)

Quentin and Margo are very different here. Quentin likes his house, his room, and his family, while Margo makes her home in solitude.

Part 2, Chapter 3
Minor Characters

"I don't want her under our roof." Mrs. Spiegelman raised a tissue to her eyes, although I heard no crying in her voice. (2.3.25)

Now we see part of the reason Margo Roth Spiegelman doesn't feel at home at, well, home. Her parents don't seem to be the warmest, most welcoming people in Florida.

Part 2, Chapter 5

"I guess she told Jase like two days before she left that New York was the only place in America where a person could actually live a halfway livable life." (2.5.18)

This tells us something about Margo Roth Spiegelman: She's a big city girl stuck in a small town.

Part 2, Chapter 8
Quentin Jacobson

It seemed to me that this was not a place you go to live. It was a place you go to die. (2.8.27)

Margo thinks the same thing about the town she and Quentin grow up in. Just like one man's trash can be another man's treasure, one man's dump can be Margo Roth Spiegelman's condominium.

Part 2, Chapter 12
Quentin Jacobson

But why here? How is this better than home? And if it's so great, why leave? (2.12.25)

Quentin doesn't understand why Margo would set up a camp in an abandoned mini-mall and basically live there for days. What makes Margo want to call that place home temporarily?

Part 3, Chapter 22

[Margo] has relocated her offices from an abandoned mini-mall in Florida to an abandoned barn in New York, and I have found her. (3.22.18)

Maybe these places are more like pit stops for Margo on the way to her eventual home, or maybe her home is just, well, her—her car, her books, herself.

Quentin Jacobson

I can't believe [Margo]'s been living like this, this irreconcilable mix of tidy suburbaniality and creepy decay. But then again, I can't believe how much time I wasted believing she was living any other way. (3.22.64)

By this point, Quentin should have realized that Margo is completely comfortable living in a dump.

Margo Roth Spiegelman

"I kept waiting for that loneliness and nervousness to make me want to go back. But it never did. It's the one thing I can't do, Q." (3.22.113)

It seems that Margo prefers the isolation to going back to where she came from. But is it the isolation she likes, or just being away from her parents? If she likes isolation so much, New York City might not be the best place for her.