Thirteen Reasons Why


Jay Asher

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Zach Dempsey Character Analysis

Zach Dempsey is the seventh name on Hannah’s list. He approaches Hannah after Marcus leaves her alone in Rosie’s, though she’s visibly upset and unable to talk to him. After Zach leaves Hannah’s table, she hears his friends taunting him for his failure to connect with her. Soon after that incident, Hannah finds Zach stealing her notes of encouragement from her paper bag at the back of Peer Communications class—notes that were the only scrap of hope she felt she could rely on. Hannah understands Zach’s theft as revenge for the fact that she showed no interest in him at Rosie’s. She confronts Zach, but his failure to respond to her makes her feel even more neglected and devalued: not only does he think she doesn’t deserve the compliments he stole, he also thinks she doesn’t deserve an explanation for his behavior. He's yet another person in Hannah’s life who doesn’t respect her feelings, and whose actions deprive her of hope.

Zach Dempsey Quotes in Thirteen Reasons Why

The Thirteen Reasons Why quotes below are all either spoken by Zach Dempsey or refer to Zach Dempsey. 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:
Rumors and Reputation Theme Icon
Cassette 4: Side A Quotes

Maybe it didn’t seem like a big deal to you, Zach. But now, I hope you understand. My world was collapsing. I needed those notes. I needed any hope those notes might have offered.

And you? You took that hope away. You decided I didn’t deserve to have it.

Related Characters: Hannah Baker (speaker), Zach Dempsey
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
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Thirteen Reasons Why PDF

Zach Dempsey Character Timeline in Thirteen Reasons Why

The timeline below shows where the character Zach Dempsey appears in Thirteen Reasons Why. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cassette 1: Side A
Gender, Sexualization, and Agency Theme Icon
...year, she and her friend Kat waited at Kat’s window until Justin and his friend Zach walked over, but when the two boys arrived, they slipped on the wet grass before... (full context)
Cassette 1: Side B
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
...up at the house, he wonders whether Hannah’s story would’ve been different had she met Zach that summer day before the start of school—what if she had been attracted to Zach... (full context)
Cassette 4: Side A
Rumors and Reputation Theme Icon
...ever dropped a mean or sarcastic note into someone’s bag—but on the tape, she addresses Zach Dempsey and asks him, “What’s your excuse?” (full context)
Gender, Sexualization, and Agency Theme Icon
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
Hannah begins her story about Zach with the afternoon at Rosie’s. After Marcus leaves, Zach walks over to Hannah and sits... (full context)
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
On the tape, Hannah tells Zach he probably didn’t think the notes were a big deal, but for her, they were... (full context)
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
On the tape, Hannah asks Zach how many notes he took from her, and whether he read them. She wishes she... (full context)
Gender, Sexualization, and Agency Theme Icon
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
...continues her story. The day Hannah’s note goes missing, she stays after class and sees Zach looking into her paper bag. He finds nothing there and leaves without checking his own... (full context)
Rumors and Reputation Theme Icon
Parental Care and Attention Theme Icon
Hannah tells the listeners that she addressed the note to Zach, telling him that he had stolen the encouragement she needed. As he walks down the... (full context)
Guilt and Blame Theme Icon
On the tape, Hannah continues her story. After Hannah finds out that Zach has been stealing her notes, she leaves a note in the teacher’s paper bag suggesting... (full context)