Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Turtles All the Way Down: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Aza texts Daisy to call her when she can. Daisy calls immediately and begins rambling about her fantastic date with Mychal and how much she actually likes him. She finally asks Aza about Davis, and Aza asks if they can meet up. Daisy has to work, but they agree to meet after work. Daisy hangs up because Mychal is calling, and Aza realizes that Mom is standing in her doorway. Mom asks how the date went, and Aza deflects.
Although Daisy is certainly in a honeymoon phase of her relationship with Mychal, she's already very much shifting her attention to him and away from Aza. She's beginning to identify with him instead of her best friend, which is an example of her experimenting with new ways of seeing herself and relating to others.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Later, Aza goes through the notes Noah sent her. The final notes interest her and seem connected: they include countries where a person might be able to stay without facing criminal charges at home in the US, a memoir by a woman whose father ran from the law, and a news article about the difficulty of faking one's own death, but the mysterious phrase "the jogger's mouth" turns up no results. Aza puts the list aside.
It appears as though Mr. Pickett was researching how to get away with his criminal charges by leaving the country. The memoir suggests that perhaps he was thinking about how all of this would affect his sons, even if he wasn't able to show that he cared in other ways.
Themes
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza shows up early to Applebee's. She fumbles around in Harold's trunk until she finds her dad's phone and charger. She explains that Mom backed up Dad's photos years ago, but she prefers going through them on the phone. She swipes through family photos and selfies taken before phones had front-facing cameras. Aza thinks about the day her dad died: he just fell while mowing the lawn. Mom told Aza to call 911 while she performed CPR. Dad was dead the whole time and later at the hospital, a doctor asked if he'd had a heart condition. Aza tells a photo of her dad that she came upon some money and she misses him.
Aza feels that there's something special and more "real" about seeing her dad's photos in their original form, rather than looking at them on a computer. Keeping the phone is a way for Aza to interact with something that was truly a part of her dad. Modern life undeniably takes place on one's phone, at least part of the time, and so by keeping his phone in working order, Aza can still interact with a part of her dad that's real and "alive."
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Daisy arrives a bit later, and Aza calls her over to get in the car, where she tells her to open the bag under her seat. Daisy begins to cry and asks if the money is real. Aza wonders if they can actually keep it and tells Daisy that Davis called it a rounding error. She worries that the money isn't legal, but Daisy says that she doesn't buy the idea that it's noble to turn down money. Daisy stares out the windshield and says that she'll be able to go to college now. She pulls a $100 bill from the stack and leads Aza into Applebee's.
For Daisy, money is money and coming into it like this is a fantastic stroke of luck. For her, having money means that her life will be easier and more pleasant. Her comment about college shows that her future is opening up as well, making it possible for her to do more than work at Chuck E. Cheese's. For Aza, the money is a liability—she's not as desperate for money, so she’s more concerned about being cautious.
Themes
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
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Holly is shocked when Daisy and Aza order sodas. Daisy upgrades her side to onion rings, and tells Holly she doesn't have a coupon today. Aza and Daisy fantasize about Daisy's retirement from Chuck E. Cheese's. Daisy suggests mounting the head of the Chuckie costume on her wall after walking out wearing the costume.
Holly knows the girls as frugal coupon users, so this sudden change of identity is shocking for her. It's important to note that being able to quit her job will be a mark of privilege for Daisy. It means she doesn't have to work to meet everyday expenses.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza mentions that she spoke to Noah the night before and that he gave her the notes off Mr. Pickett's phone. Aza says she feels bad for Noah, but Daisy insists that he isn't their problem since they're rich now. Aza insists that $50,000 apiece isn't rich, but Daisy does some mental math and figures out that in order to make $50,000 at Chuck E. Cheese's, she'd have to work eight-hour shifts every day for two years.
For Daisy, the circular subplot of the Mr. Pickett mystery is complete: they got the money, case closed. Aza betrays her naïveté regarding Daisy's financial situation by insisting that $50,000 isn't a lot of money, echoing Davis’s earlier comment to Aza that $100,000 isn’t that much money. The remark creates clear delineations between the three characters that show what "a lot of money" is for each of them.
Themes
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Daisy says that Aza is a good friend because she shared the money and asks if the lawyer is going to try to take back the money. Aza says she trusts Davis, and Daisy remarks that they've both fallen in love. After dinner, which only costs $30, they leave Holly a $20 tip.
Daisy and Aza pay their good fortune forward by finally tipping Holly. When they have the means to do so, they notice another person's need and do their best to make everyone's financial situation better.
Themes
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon