Go Ask Alice

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Alice in Horrorland

Go Ask Alice, said to be by an anonymous author and edited by Beatrice Sparks, is a

haunting, yet extraordinary novel. Go Ask Alice talks about the dangers and consequences of

using drugs. Its genre is contemporary classic fiction.

Although Go Ask Alice’s book cover says to have been written by “Anonymous”,

meaning that it was written by the owner of the diary, Beatrice Sparks, a psychologist, claims to

have written it (Goldberg 1). Eight years after it was first published, Sparks admitted that she

wrote the novel and that there was a real “Alice”, but that she had added other similar events that

had occurred to other patients of hers. Due to this, Go Ask Alice is labeled as fiction rather than

nonfiction. Go Ask Alice is in a first point of view perspective since it is a girl’s diary. This

affects the novel by making us question whether or not what Alice says is entirely true. The

reason why I chose to read Go Ask Alice is because I was already planning on reading this novel

One literary device that Sparks uses a lot in the novel is hyperbole. An example of a

hyperbole in Go Ask Alice is when she says “Yesterday I remember thinking I was the happiest

person in the whole earth, in the whole galaxy, in all of God’s creation” (Sparks 1) Another

example is “I have just read the stuff I wrote in the last few weeks and I am being drowned in

my own tears, suffocated, submerged, inundated, overpowered” (119). A last example of

hyperbole found in Go Ask Alice is when she says “I’m so happy I could die” (162).The reason

why Sparks uses the literary device of hyperbole is because this diary is a teenage girl’s diary.

Teenage girls tend to over-exaggerate everything that they say or write. By the use of hyperbole

the reader can almost hear a teenage girl’s voice. The hyperboles help contribute to the novel’s

theme by making us see Alice’s perspective towards all her experiences with drugs.

Another literary device that is use a lot in Go Ask Alice is that of metaphor. It is used

when Alice says “School is a nightmare” (2). Another metaphor is found when it says

“Practically every kid that uses also sells and it’s just a giant robin thing that keeps getting

bigger and bigger until I wonder where it will ever end” (64).A metaphor is found when Alice

writes “There isn’t life without drugs. It’s a plodding, colorless, dissonant bare existence”

(96).The reason why metaphors are used in this novel is because with metaphors the author

could make the reader understand what Alice was saying better. With metaphors the reader can

find another thing or idea to base all of his thoughts on what Alice is trying to say. Metaphors

contribute to the theme a sense of understanding of Alice’s dark world of drugs.

Go Ask Alice is a story about what happens when you take a fifteen year old teenage girl,

who only wanted to have fun that one night, and introduce her to the world of drugs. This

teenage girl thinks that her only friend is the diary that she is writing on. She meets a lot of

people throughout the novel. Most of these people only bring her even deeper into addiction.

First there is Jill Peters, a girl that invites Alice to a party. The party in which Alice is first

introduced to LSD in a party game called “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?” Then, there’s

Chris, a girl that becomes one of Alice’s most important friends. Chris was also addicted to

drugs and, along with Alice they sold drugs to support their boyfriends. Chris and Alice run

away to San Francisco, but later decide to go back home. Alice meets a lot of bad influences in

the novel, all of them drug users. Then again, Alice meets people that support her and truly love

her. These people, although few compared to the other bad influences, include her family and

Joel. They forgive her when she briefly goes...
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