Parents

Discuss the April 2015 book of the month, "Paper Towns" by John Green.
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bluemel4
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Parents

Post by bluemel4 » 05 Apr 2015, 21:44

Margo and Quentin's parents both have a strong presence in the book. How would Margo's character be different if she had Quentin's parents?
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Post by ALynnPowers » 07 Apr 2015, 06:09

I kind of think that she wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Maybe she wouldn't have such an interest in leaving town because she wouldn't have such a good reason to get away. That's just me. I definitely think that parents play a big role in how a kid develops, personality-wise. Regardless of whether or not it's what they wanted to happen.
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Post by bluemel4 » 07 Apr 2015, 19:10

I agree that there would not be as much drama/ mystery surrounding Margo if she had Quentin's parents. I thought it was interesting that Margo felt like she was living in a prison while Quentin's mother worked with teen inmates.

It also seemed like every time Margo's parents responded to one of her schemes, she needed to escalate the next plan to get past the restrictions her parents set. Having almost a domino effect. The more she tried to show her independence the more her parents locked down on her.
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Post by Cee-Jay Aurinko » 08 Apr 2015, 01:16

Quentin's parents are both in psychology, so maybe they could've had a different impact on Margo's personality. Margo's parents seem to have just given up on her. But Margo sort of didn't give them a choice either: she ran away a lot. And Margo is a person used to wearing masks, so maybe she never let her parents in enough for them to help her. Quentin's might have known how to handle someone like her. But do I think the impact would've been great? No, I think the body see saw made something snap inside of her. Traumatic childhood experiences tend to carry through way into adulthood. Even Q, with his parents being who they are and all, didn't come from the body incident completely unscathed.
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Post by bluemel4 » 08 Apr 2015, 07:03

@Leon Durham that is an interesting point. Margo was so traumatized by finding the dead body that she would ultimately be some version of herself no matter who her parents were.

We get to see how Quentin's parents handle the experience with Quentin. They sooth him and help him understand what he saw. We can only speculate how Margo's parents handled the event. But I did find it odd that so many people were willing to talk to a 9 year old about the problems the dead man had and what lead to his suicide. Margo needed to find the answers all by herself and sooth herself alone.
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Post by trabernathy29 » 14 Apr 2015, 12:13

From the adult perspective, the parents of the teens could have been more engaged. I understand due to how John Green characterized them, the reason why they were not very involved. Some may say that’s typical of parents these days…in some aspects I agree. Parents just don’t seem that engaged in the activities of their children anymore.

The parents were still funny in their own rite. They thought the way psychologist think of their patients which makes me believe that they really didn't know Quentin at all. As for Margo's parents, I figured she had disappeared one too many times so they were just fed up. Ruthie (the baby sister) was a sweetheart though...wish she had a bigger part in the book.
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Post by deah319 » 16 Apr 2015, 21:12

ALynnPowers wrote:I kind of think that she wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Maybe she wouldn't have such an interest in leaving town because she wouldn't have such a good reason to get away. That's just me. I definitely think that parents play a big role in how a kid develops, personality-wise. Regardless of whether or not it's what they wanted to happen.
I agree! There may not be a story to tell if Margo has Quentin's parents because she just might turn out to be a well-adjusted individual. But then again, teenagers are teenagers (it's their world and we're just living in it).
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Post by tiffanynettles » 25 Apr 2015, 02:03

I do not think that any of the events in the book would have taken place if Margo's parents had been like Quentin's. Instead of just up and skipping town, I think that she would have felt more emotionally stable and accepted in her home. Therefor, even if she still wanted to leave town and experience the world I think she would simply have talked to her parents and explained how she felt and what her plans were. There would not have been a big mystery as to where she went.
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Post by ALynnPowers » 03 May 2015, 00:55

Leon Durham wrote:Quentin's parents are both in psychology, so maybe they could've had a different impact on Margo's personality. Margo's parents seem to have just given up on her. But Margo sort of didn't give them a choice either: she ran away a lot. And Margo is a person used to wearing masks, so maybe she never let her parents in enough for them to help her. Quentin's might have known how to handle someone like her. But do I think the impact would've been great? No, I think the body see saw made something snap inside of her. Traumatic childhood experiences tend to carry through way into adulthood. Even Q, with his parents being who they are and all, didn't come from the body incident completely unscathed.
I like this point. And I'm sure that as a child when finding the dead body happened, the way the parents handled the situation was different. Quentin mentioned something about kind of being traumatized by the event but Margo handled it better than he did and was more fascinated by it... but maybe his own reaction was the "proper" one and Margo's was what ultimately led to her behavior years down the road.

Okay, now I am just rambling and not making sense in attempts to make myself sound intelligent. 8)
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Post by Duende Knocking » 24 May 2015, 05:48

tiffanynettles wrote:I do not think that any of the events in the book would have taken place if Margo's parents had been like Quentin's. Instead of just up and skipping town, I think that she would have felt more emotionally stable and accepted in her home. Therefor, even if she still wanted to leave town and experience the world I think she would simply have talked to her parents and explained how she felt and what her plans were. There would not have been a big mystery as to where she went.
This, exactly.

Her living situation wasn't one that I would wish on anyone, but it served its purpose for the story. If she had felt more comfortable at home, the story definitely would not have gone the way it did!
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Post by Jesska6029 » 09 Jun 2015, 14:57

I think in order for the story to be what is was - she had to have that set of parents. She wouldn't have been nearly the same character and wouldn't have had the same motives if her parents had been different.
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Post by csimmons032 » 24 Jun 2015, 12:11

I think Margo would have lead a much happier life. She wouldn't have felt so alone in her own home and she probably would have had better friends as well. Then again, if Quentin had Margo's parents, then he might have ended up feeling alone in the world and the character's personalities would have been reversed.
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Post by hannahbm13 » 20 Jul 2015, 14:15

I think if Margo had Quentin's parents then there wouldn't have been any story to tell. This reminds me of the whole Nature vs. Nurture argument, and I am on the side of Nurture. I believe that a person's personality is based heavily on how they were raised.
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Post by The Book Reviewer » 23 Aug 2015, 16:06

Margo may have turned out differently, perhaps more self-assured and would feel less of a need to be different, rather than simply be happy.

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Post by TangledinText » 02 Sep 2015, 08:17

It would make for a boring book because he would remian with the same personality but instead of being smothered with love would have more distant parents but still remain a quiet kid. Margo though she might go crazy with his parents because if she ran away she'd actually be punished, grounded, and possibly not be the popular kid anymore. She wouldn't have as much freedom and she wouldn't be in search for love or purpose in my opinion.
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