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...
Cited: Goldberg, Lina. ""Curiouser and Curiouser": Fact, Fiction, and the Anonymous Author of
Go Ask Alice by Lina Goldberg." "Curiouser and Curiouser": Fact, Fiction, and
the Anonymous Author of Go Ask Alice by Lina Goldberg. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.
Sparks, Beatrice. Go Ask Alice. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1971. Print.
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