Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Turtles All the Way Down: Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Although Aza is still narrating, the point of view changes to second person (with Aza using “you” instead of “I”). Mom tells Aza she made her Cheerios for breakfast, and Aza notices a bouquet of flowers. Mom says they're from Davis.
Changing the point of view gives Aza some distance from the reader and alludes to her sense of existing above and beyond her own mind and her own physical body.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Aza's brain thinks that she'll never know what she consumed while she was asleep, and Aza thinks it's like her brain is on fire. She wonders if humans invented metaphor as a response to indescribable pain. The thought itself is fully formed and Aza thinks she's better until she feels nauseous. Her brain tells her that the bacteria are already inside her and are going to kill her. She manages to tell Mom that she's in big trouble.
Finally, from the depths of her spiral, Aza is able to formulate the words to ask for help and involve others in her painful spiral. She's learning that although her identity is fully her own, she needs assistance from others in order to find it and make it a place that's comfortable to exist in.
Themes
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon