Study Guide

Thirteen Reasons Why Chapter 9

By Jay Asher

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Chapter 9

Cassette 4: Side A

  • Clay gets to Rosie's before his mom; he waits at the counter, just like Hannah had to wait for Marcus Cooley.
  • His mom shows up and brings him the tapes. He asks her if she wants to stay – it would be nice to talk to her. She doesn't want to disturb him and his friend on their project, though.
  • Before she leaves, she gives him money and recommends the malted shakes. She also tells him to be careful.
  • Hannah starts this tape by talking about "everyone's favorite required class" (9.42), Peer Communications.
  • As things got worse and worse for Hannah at school, this class became her "safe haven" (9.45).
  • Unlike in other classes, the teacher, Mrs. Bradley, didn't let anyone harass anyone else.
  • They talked about anything they wanted, even touchy subjects.
  • Mrs. Bradley created a system for the students to give each other anonymous notes of encouragement.
  • A wire rack was set up and paper bags were placed in the slots. Students could leave classmates notes in their bags.
  • Hannah says that, as far as she knows, nobody ever put mean notes in the bags; they were used to give encouragement.
  • So she wants to know why Zach Dempsey, the person this tape is about, decided to be mean.
  • Suddenly, Clay looks up and Tony is standing in front of him, asking about his Walkman.
  • Clay lies, saying that Tony must have forgotten that he'd asked him to borrow it earlier.
  • Tony pats Clay on the shoulder and says he can borrow it as long as he wants.
  • When Clay turns the tape back on, Hannah says that to understand Zach's story, we need to go back to that day at Rosie's.
  • After Marcus left, Zach came over and sat next to Hannah, but she ignored him because she was falling apart inside.
  • Zach was nice; he said he was sorry about whatever had gone down with Marcus.
  • But Hannah couldn't talk to him. Why should she trust him? All she needed now was another person to let her down.
  • It was at that moment that she thought about suicide for the first time.
  • She assumed that Tony thought he would get away with what he did, that nobody would ever find out.
  • After she rejected Zach at Rosie's, Hannah says, he got revenge by stealing her notes of encouragement from Mrs. Bradley's class.
  • This is how she figured it out: after her experience at Rosie's, Hannah cut off most of her long hair. She thought somebody would drop her a note about it, since it was such a drastic change, but when no note came, she got suspicious.
  • To find out what was going on, she wrote herself a note. The next day her bag was empty. Now the only thing to do was watch and see who was taking the notes. She had a feeling it was Zach – he was lurking near her bag – but she wanted to be sure.
  • She wanted Zach to understand that taking her notes was taking away the only friendly interaction she had with other students. She needed those notes.
  • Hannah placed another note in her bag and rigged it to fall if anyone touched it. Then she staked out in the hallway to watch.
  • Sure enough, Zach tried to take the note, and it fell. He picked it back up, rushing out of the classroom. He made eye contact with Hannah but walked quickly past her.
  • She watched as Zach opened the note. It was written to him, of course, confronting him about taking her notes, and telling him how much she needed them.
  • He knew she was watching him read it, but he just put it in his pocket and turned to go.
  • She started screaming at him, asking him why he did it.
  • Clay actually remembers that day. Everybody was talking about how Hannah had freaked out for no reason in the hallway.
  • Back on the tape, Hannah says that her home life wasn't so great at that time either. Her parents were battling the opening of a new mall that would destroy their shoe store business.
  • Her mother, she says, didn't even notice her haircut. Hannah found herself thinking even more about suicide.
  • Hannah decided to put an anonymous note in Mrs. Bradley's bag, saying she was thinking about suicide. Wow.
  • Mrs. Bradley read the note to the class and opened the discussion. Hannah says that the class agreed that since they didn't know who wrote the note or why, there wasn't much they could say to help.
  • Her classmates even said that "whoever wrote the note just wants attention" (9.222).
  • On the tape, Hannah admits that maybe they were right. Maybe she just wanted people to know she was thinking of killing herself so they would tell her to stop,
  • Hannah says Mrs. Bradley passed out a pamphlet that talked about suicide warning signs. One of the warning signs was "a sudden change in appearance" (9.235) – like her super-short hair.
  • As Clay flips the tape to the other side, he watches Tony finishing up his fries.

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