Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Pdf fan
Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Detective Otis Warren Character Analysis

The police detective assigned to search for Margo after her disappearance. Detective Warren is well-intentioned and inspires Quentin’s trust, but is neither very effective in searching for her nor very helpful when Quentin asks him for guidance in his own search. He encourages Quentin to move on after Margo’s disappearance and trust that Margo will make her own way in the world.

Detective Otis Warren Quotes in Paper Towns

The Paper Towns quotes below are all either spoken by Detective Otis Warren or refer to Detective Otis Warren. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Speak edition of Paper Towns published in 2009.
Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

“Let me give you some advice: let her come home. I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”

Related Characters: Detective Otis Warren (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

Detective Otis Warren offers Quentin this warning when Quentin calls him to discuss some new information he believes he has found about Margo's disappearance. Warren, who in his first meeting with Quentin compared runaway children to tied-down balloons that finally break free and float away, calls on that metaphor again to caution Quentin about losing himself in the search for Margo. Warren isn't the first person to worry that Quentin's obsession with finding Margo is hindering his ability to live a full life — Quentin's parents and Ben both express similar concerns at different points in the novel — but it is not until his near-death experience during his road trip to Agloe that Quentin truly begins to see the consequences of his obsession and to recapture his desire to live a full life on his own terms.

Though the novel focuses primarily on Quentin's journey to develop greater humanity and compassion for others, his experience searching for Margo also teaches him greater loyalty to and understand of himself. After dismissing his fantastic ideas about the ways in which his life might change if Margo were to love him, and working hard to transcend the boundaries of his own, self-centered perspective, he also has to recognize that his life is his alone to live. He must live responsibly, with regard and care for other human beings, but he also must make his own decisions and set his own priorities, rather than blindly following another person's vision for him. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Paper Towns quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Paper Towns LitChart as a printable PDF.
Paper towns.pdf.medium

Detective Otis Warren Character Timeline in Paper Towns

The timeline below shows where the character Detective Otis Warren appears in Paper Towns. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 3
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Leaving Home and Growing Up Theme Icon
...with Margo’s parents and a man he doesn’t recognize, who introduces himself as Detective Otis Warren. Margo’s parents tell Quentin that Margo has run away again; Detective Warren claims this is... (full context)
Human Connection Theme Icon
Detective Warren mentions that Margo tends to leave clues before she runs away. Margo’s father lists some... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Human Connection Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Detective Warren pulls Quentin aside, where the others cannot hear them. He tells Quentin that he does... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Detective Warren describes Margo as a tied-down balloon that has been straining against her strings and now... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Human Connection Theme Icon
Quentin and Detective Warren return downstairs, and Detective Warren leaves with Margo’s parents to look through Margo’s room. Quentin... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
...the night before, emerges from Quentin’s room. Quentin tells Ben about the visit from Detective Warren and the Spiegelmans, and Ben suggests they discuss the issue further over a game of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
Authenticity and Artificiality Theme Icon
Human Connection Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...and Radar sit in the Jacobsen’s living room and wait for the Spiegelmans and Detective Warren to leave the house. When all the adults are finally gone, the boys collect Ben... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
Leaving Home and Growing Up Theme Icon
...whether it is “a suicide-note kind of poem.” He soon becomes anxious, and calls Detective Warren to tell him about Margo’s clues and their findings in the strip mall. He admits... (full context)
Authenticity and Artificiality Theme Icon
Human Connection Theme Icon
Frustrated by his conversation with Warren, Quentin begins search for the phrase “paper town” online. He finds a comment in a... (full context)