PaperTowns by John Green Essay

1395 Words Feb 6th, 2014 6 Pages
The Strings, the Grass, and the Vessel Life is very complex and often hard to define. However, this challenge does not stop people from trying to sum up the meaning of life in one word. In Paper Towns by John Green, the three metaphors the strings, the grass, and the vessel are used throughout the book to chronicle the protagonist’s, Quentin, experiences. The novel revolves around Quentin Jacobsen, a high school senior. When his former best friend and long time crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman, comes back into his life and then suddenly disappears, Q attempts to piece together the clues he believes Margo left behind for him. Each of these three metaphors represent what Q is feeling and allow him to view life from different perspectives. As …show more content…
We never fully heal from these events and they affect our lives from that point on. However, I think the strings metaphor makes life sound more fragile than it actually is. Failures, hardships, obstacles are not fatal. Though they do affect us, they also provide a choice: to either allow these events to lead to instability or work to strengthen the strings we have left. Yes, eventually, all of our strings are cut; the battle is over. We spend our entire lives in combat and the end is inevitable. Life is just a constant battle to continue to exist. Though we may repair and grow as people, our days are numbered. Strings make life sound like a countdown to death; “Four strings to go, now three, two, one…” In the book, Q reflects on the dual implications of this metaphor, “I like strings. I always have. Because that’s how it feels. But the strings make pain seem more fatal than it is… we are not as frail as the strings would make us believe.”(302) Though there is some truth in this metaphor, I believe that it focuses too much on the futility of our existence; that no matter how valiantly we fight, we will someday cease to exist. “If you choose grass, you’re saying we are all infinitely interconnected, that we can use these root systems not only to understand one another but to become one another.”(301) This metaphor states that we all share a common root system and are infinitely connected. Though this it ia good thing as it allows us to
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