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In 1971 a novel was published under the name of Go Ask Alice, the book was released with no author or editor. It was authored by anonymous. Although being anonymous during the mid 1980, Beatrice Sparks, a teen physiologist, was uncovered to have assisted in writing a portion of the book. Although she helped the real author was never reveled. This book portrays the life and choices of fifteen year old Alice. Although the character is named Alice, she does not correlate with any specific person in real life.
The journals were a combination of different patients Sparks was seeing. Since its publishing in 1971 Go Ask Alice has become one of the most controversial banned books. This is because of its strong commentary on sex, suicide, heavy drug usage and teen pregnancy. After finishing the book, I believe that the novel should not be banned. This book has strong language for younger children to read but, it shows what can happen to teenagers, what students will do for drugs, and it has a strong message for older teens.
This book is very resourceful for many teenagers and can teach many readers a lesson.
For younger readers this book carries very strong language but it has a strong message. One of those is that it displays what someone will do for drugs. While researching the book you discover that South Carolina, Berkley County school district, was one of the first places to pull the book from schools and libraries. This occurred after a parent protested the book when her daughter, in eighth grade, had to read experts from the book to her classmates.
The student’s mother did not want her to be reading a book with so much profanity and references to sex. One of the most controversial lines that derives from the book is when Alice writes in her journal “Another day, another blow-job”. She does these blow jobs in exchange for drugs. This shows how far Alice was willing to go in order to get a hold of some drugs. She was so addicted to the drugs that she would do whatever it takes to get even the slightest amount of drugs.
Another reason this book should not be banned is, it shows true experiences of what can happen to teenagers once under the influence of drugs, sex, and alcohol. Beatrice Sparks states that this diary was not just one patient of her. It was a collection of many of her patients’ that she was treating. This shows how many kids go through similar problems without knowing about one another. The could all be distinctive rom one another whether their personality, or back story but many go through problems once influenced by drugs. During the book Alice also journals about how she ends up in the insane asylum and she describes all the different patients and what they had gone through. Also when Alice runs away she meets plenty of other drug users and even a pregnant one.
Meeting the pregnant drug user causes Alice to stop doing drugs because she believes that she is pregnant as well. This is just getting to her head though because Alice was never truly expecting. Alice’s last journal entry states that things were strengthening and that she thought she did not need to write anymore in her journal because she finally had true friends that she can communicate with. In the epilogue of the book the reader learns that Alice dies three weeks after deciding to cease writing in her journal. It is never stated whether it was accidental or a premeditated overdose but either way drugs were involved. She died with her whole life ahead of her just like many others do, like the writer states “she was only one of the thousands of drug deaths that year”. This shows how much of an effect drugs have on any person.
Alice thought she was getting better and once she stopped writing everything took a turn for the worse. It never states what happens in those three weeks and that doesn’t really matter, what matters is that she die and that could have all been avoided if drugs had never influenced her life at such a young age. This really shows the reader the types of consequences that can arise from drug, or alcohol use.
Finally, this book shows a very strong message to any reader. Whether reading at a younger age or at an older age this book will leave you learning something. With the amount of detail that Alice puts into her journal entries you really do believe that you are there with her, experiencing all that is happening to her. You feel everything she does and everything seems to real. It truly shows you how life is like once someone is hooked up on drugs. How sever everything is and how they begin to imagine an abounding amount of situations and scenarios all different from one another. Hallucinations and chronic anxiety attacks kept occurring to Alice.
These are all changes that occurred to her once she was affected by the drugs that she was taking. That is a very big message that comes from the book, although it uses strong language and has references to sex and pregnancy most of it is caused by the drugs. All of Alice’s actions occurred once she was on the drugs and it really shows the reader that once you get in an obsessive matter with things like these, it is hard to stop. Alice had a lot going for her and everything tumbled for her, it’s truly sad how much drugs effected Alice’s life.
In conclusion, this book should not be banned. Many readers of this book would agree that this book should be read by anyone. The book truly demonstrates; how far teenagers will go to get drugs, the consequences of drugs, and how life is like once you are hooked onto drugs. This is a book that many teenagers should read before getting involved in any type of substances. This can teach many teens what to do when situations like this arise. They will know the consequences and will know what to expect. With how real this book portrays all the events teens can decide not to try anything because in a way they slightly connected with Alice and experienced everything that she did. Overall the book should not be banned and teens should be allowed to read this anywhere without their being consequences.
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