Margo's revenge

Discuss the April 2015 book of the month, "Paper Towns" by John Green.
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erasmus
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Re: Margo's revenge

Post by erasmus » 22 Apr 2015, 08:20

While everyone might feel vindictive once in a while, and though we know it's wrong, we act on it anyway. Margo, I think, took things a little too far sometimes. The first thing I thought she took too far was involving Quentin in her acts of revenge. The second was that she broke laws (not that it's right because you didn't break the law), and did I mention how she dragged someone else into it?

I can't say I understand Margo, I guess one lesson we can take away from her revenge is that it's never easy, and you'll almost always drag someone down with you.
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Post by TheMusicalMuse » 11 May 2015, 16:31

I wonder if Margo would have gone to the extent that she did with her revenge scheming if she hadn't also wanted to use it as a way to "jump-start" Quentin. I agree with most of you that her actions went to the extreme: fun to read about, but cringe-worthy in the context of real life.

I also agree that reading about Margo's revenge biased me against her. I find it ironic that she called Quentin childish for his lack of experience when her actions were the epitome of childishness. But I feel like her actions were in keeping with her character. For her, the idea of taking something too far didn't exist. As someone who relates more to a Quentin-like lifestyle, I was fascinated by Margo's revenge, even while being put off by her extremity.
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Post by Lovely_Loreley » 11 May 2015, 18:17

Having been friends with people who are at times extremely vengeful and childish, I kind of understood where Margo was coming from. Did she take it too far? Yes. Did she understand that? Probably not. When you think your opinion and your life is what matters most (or should matter most) to everyone else, people get hurt and things go too far, but at the time it almost always seems right. I can't help but imagine how we would all feel about Margo if we experienced the story from her point of view...

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Post by TheMusicalMuse » 11 May 2015, 20:35

I've been in Margo's situation--or something very similar--before, where someone I loved went behind my back and hurt me. I'll be honest; I had visions of revenge that would make a convict blush. But I've never been brave enough to act on them. Or maybe it isn't brave to act out your revenge. Perhaps the real bravery comes when you acknowledge your desire for revenge but hold back because it won't solve the problem and will ultimately end in more hurt for you and others.

I think Margo acted out what many of us are feeling but not willing to act upon. It's why so many people have been both disgusted by and drawn to her: we are disgusted in others by that which we dislike in ourselves, and we are drawn to others who have similar feelings and thought processes as we do.
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Post by Lovely_Loreley » 11 May 2015, 22:38

TheMusicalMuse wrote: I think Margo acted out what many of us are feeling but not willing to act upon. It's why so many people have been both disgusted by and drawn to her: we are disgusted in others by that which we dislike in ourselves, and we are drawn to others who have similar feelings and thought processes as we do.
True. Her lack of boundaries is what makes her such a compelling character. I think we are drawn in by the idea of giving in to those desires once in a while, but would much prefer to see it happen on the page than in our own lives.

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Post by erasmus » 12 May 2015, 03:06

Lovely_Loreley wrote:
TheMusicalMuse wrote: I think Margo acted out what many of us are feeling but not willing to act upon. It's why so many people have been both disgusted by and drawn to her: we are disgusted in others by that which we dislike in ourselves, and we are drawn to others who have similar feelings and thought processes as we do.
True. Her lack of boundaries is what makes her such a compelling character. I think we are drawn in by the idea of giving in to those desires once in a while, but would much prefer to see it happen on the page than in our own lives.
While I understand the points you guys were making and agree with some of them, I'm not sure about being drawn to or disgusted by Margo. I was pretty apathetic about her as a character; I was only appalled by her actions, which I thought to be too much.

I also agree that Margo's lack of boundaries make her an interesting character, but - on an unrelated note - I am really curious how until far Quentin would have followed her. Where would his boundaries end?
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Post by TheMusicalMuse » 12 May 2015, 04:59

erasmus wrote:
I also agree that Margo's lack of boundaries make her an interesting character, but - on an unrelated note - I am really curious how until far Quentin would have followed her. Where would his boundaries end?
I think if Quentin was going to let his boundaries stop him, it would've been earlier in the night, either when his pulse skyrocketed the first time or when he pulled the van over and tried to talk Margo out of breaking into Sea World. The later the night ran and the more time he spent with Margo, the less inhibited he became.
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Post by Low Shin-Ji » 12 May 2015, 17:15

Her ideas of revenge often leave you picturing a diabolical genius but when looked at retrospect, is incredible devious. I think the way John Green portrayed Margo was to create this ideal girl that guys always look for. In the eyes of many, Q, she is perfect.

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Post by erasmus » 13 May 2015, 05:27

I'm kind of reluctant to call Margo's ideas 'genius' or 'devious'... It can be argued, in my opinion, that it's childish and even unrealistic. Perhaps it's just that my life's boring, but do people really pull off what Margo did?

Also, it might be that I'm not a guy, but I really don't see how a vindictive girl like Margo can be an ideal one.
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Post by Momlovesbooks » 15 May 2015, 07:32

I feel that Margo is a selfish person. She views life
only through her own perspective and doesn't try to
see other people as individuals with their own feelings. I think, in a way, how Margo and Quentin reacted when they found the dead body as children, foreshadows their relationship in the future. Margo took steps forward, while Quentin stepped back. I think this shows her lack of "normal" conventions and her need to be in charge and leading the situation. Quentin steps back, as if to shield himself and stay out of the spotlight. Even Margo's later acts of revenge are carried out with her need to let people know she is in control (the spray painting of the letter "M").

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Post by Jesska6029 » 18 Jun 2015, 20:36

I just recently reread Paper Towns, and the more I think about it, the more I think Margo takes it too far. She does a lot of illegal things to get back at those who hurt her, but I still want her to be better than someone who destroys property. Although, getting back at her cheating ex boyfriend is gold. I guess I'm still up in the air about how I feel about Margo in general.
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Post by csimmons032 » 24 Jun 2015, 11:55

I didn't find Margo's character to be very appealing. Although a couple of the characters may have deserved her revenge, I do think there was a better way to go about it. Lacey, on the other hand, was a character that did not deserve her revenge. She was innocent, even though she did have her faults. I think Margo was just trying to run away from her feelings though instead of just telling people how she felt. I know that Margo was afraid of being sucked back into her old group of friends, but there are always ways to make new friends. She should have just stood up to her old friends and hung out with Quinton, or gone to college and make new friends. There are always ways to deal with problems without committing crimes.

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Post by hannahbm13 » 20 Jul 2015, 14:20

I loved reading about all of that. It was a total overreaction, but it was hilarious and intriguing. Although it was all incredibly childish, it did make her feel better. Maybe. Personally, I would never take an act of revenge so far as to break the law. If anything would have gone wrong she could have gotten into so much trouble! It wouldn't have been worth it for me, but then again, I don't see anybody writing books about me :)

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Post by zjones99 » 21 Jul 2015, 17:13

For the book, It was HILARIOUS. If this happened in real life though, most things would probably have gotten her and Quentin caught. Breaking into houses and spray painting the walls are two examples.

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Post by The Book Reviewer » 07 Aug 2015, 10:41

I thought it was too much, but the revenge made for an eventful and entertaining couple of chapters.

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