Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Turtles All the Way Down: Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day after school, Aza changes her Band-Aid before heading out to Harold. Aza texts Daisy and asks her if she wants to do homework at Applebee's later. They agree to meet at 8pm, after Daisy gets off work. Daisy instructs Aza to not text Davis until 24 hours have passed since their last meeting.
Aza and Daisy create a sense of order and control in their relationship by creating plans like this, while Daisy ensures that Aza's relationship with Davis will be as it should be by observing arbitrary rules about texting time frames.
Themes
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Aza begins to drive home, but she remembers that she could drive several hundred miles and still make it home for curfew. Instead, she turns up the radio and drives the circular highway around Indianapolis until she returns to where she started, and then drives home. She feels better after her drive. When Aza gets home, she has texts from Daisy saying that Daisy drew the short straw and had to wear the Chuckie costume, but survived.
Aza's entire life follows circular patterns—even the city she lives in has a circular highway around it. Here, both knowing she has access to these circles as well as actually traveling the path of the circle gives Aza relief. Daisy's work is decidedly unpleasant, and she has little power to choose what role she fills at work.
Themes
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Mom is inside grading quizzes. Aza sits down on the couch with her and Mom says that Lyle from the Pickett estate brought over their fixed canoe and told her that Aza and Daisy hit a rock on the river. Mom asks if Aza had wanted to run into Davis and whether the plan worked, and Aza finally says that she wanted to check on him, but most people don't seem to like their dads. Mom wonders out loud if Aza would've clashed or gotten along well with her father, since he was a worrier. Aza insists that life is worrisome and worrying is only correct. Mom smiles and says that she can't believe Dad left, and Aza notes that she says it like Dad chose to fall down dead.
Mom suggests that Aza's anxiety and mental illness came from her father. This suggests that what Aza experiences may be inherited, rather than something she learned. This is an early indicator that mental illness is something that Aza will never actually escape from, and that as much as she characterizes it as something separate from herself, it truly is an integral part of who she is.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Aza and Mom cook dinner, watch TV, and do dishes. Finally, Daisy texts and says she's at Applebee's. Aza tells the reader that the year before, a boy scout came to her door selling a coupon book with 60 Applebee's coupons for two burgers for $11, and Aza and Daisy have been using them ever since. When Aza arrives at the restaurant, Daisy is engrossed in her phone since she doesn't have a computer. Daisy asks Aza if she's ever received a “dick pic” (a text message containing a photo of the sender’s penis). Aza says that she's seen one, and Daisy hands over her phone, which has an unsolicited dick pic on the screen.
Both girls like to use coupons, which places them on slightly more even footing financially. However, we learn that despite their shared love of coupons, Aza enjoys privileges that Daisy doesn't, since she has a computer. It's worth noting that unsolicited dick pics in general complicate ideas of identity and selfhood, as it distills one person's entire identity into a photo of a single body part and contains no other identifying information: in this situation, as in many others, it's anonymous.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
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Holly, Daisy and Aza's usual server, approaches the table. Aza stops Daisy from asking Holly if she's ever gotten a dick pic. Aza places an order for a to-go burger for later, and Daisy orders a burger and tries to order a glass of wine. Aza gives Holly their coupon and as soon as Holly leaves the table, Daisy returns to the subject of the dick pic. She wonders how the sender made the mental leap from liking Daisy's fanfiction to deciding to send the photo. Aza says that boys, and people in general, are gross, and asks to change the subject.
Daisy is now engrossed in interrogating what the meaning of the dick pic is, and what it's supposed to convey. She's aware of what it's intended to convey (a positive reaction to her fanfiction story) but also sees that it's not exactly having the desired effect. This shows a situation in which language breaks down, though here it creates a humorous rather than tragic effect.
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Daisy says that on her break at work, she read up on wills. She found out that you can't leave money to an animal, but you can leave money to a foundation that cares for an animal and there’s no law saying that anyone has to leave their kids anything. She says she's going to do her calculus homework and get a copy of the police report for Mr. Pickett's disappearance.
Daisy doesn't appear to take any time to “do nothing” or relax. She spends her breaks at work doing other things, which shows that her time is at a premium. This is a direct result of her financial situation and lack of privilege: between work and school, she literally doesn't have the privilege of time to spare.
Themes
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza looks through Davis’s Facebook page and discovers his Instagram username. His Instagram is filled with quotes typed in typewriter fonts. Aza discovers a girl that Davis dated a year ago and through her, finds Davis’s Twitter and YouTube profiles. Finally, she finds Davis’s blog. The posts all feature a quote and then a paragraph that loosely relates to the quote.
The format of Davis's blog and the prevalence of quotes on his Instagram show that he's very much pulling from the language of others to help make sense of his own life. Essentially, he's using meaning that others have already created to impose order on and create meaning out of his own thoughts.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
One of the quotes from William James reads, "the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another," under which Davis wrote that he cannot at all choose his thoughts. Aza thinks that Davis understands the way that she experiences thoughts.
Both Davis and Aza see their thoughts as being outside of their control to some extent. Although it's yet to be seen if Davis finds this as troubling as Aza does, this shared experience creates closeness between them in Aza's mind.
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Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
The blog stops the day Mr. Pickett went missing. Hard as she tries, Aza can't find more of Davis’s online presence. Daisy suddenly calls Aza's attention back to Applebee's. Aza tells Daisy what she found and Daisy instructs her to find info on the case, not just on Davis. Aza discovers that Mr. Pickett had been sued many times by employees and other people, and notices that a lawyer named Simon Morris represented Mr. Pickett in every case. Aza finds a website called Glassdoor which allows people to anonymously review employers. All the reviews of Mr. Pickett say that he's "skeezy" and not above breaking the law.
Mr. Pickett's character becomes increasingly troubling the further the girls dig: he's not just a bad father to his children, he's a bad businessman in his dealings with his employees and the people he works for. Daisy points out that Aza is far more interested in Davis than in the case, which is indicative once again of Daisy's desire to earn the money and Aza's desire to connect with someone who understands how her thoughts work.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza discovers that even though Mr. Pickett settled his lawsuits out of court, the criminal investigation wouldn't go away. She learns that 15 years ago his company, Pickett Engineering, had secured the contract to clean up the White River and the sewage system. The company hadn't finished the work, the project ran over budget, and when the government tried to find someone else to finish the job, Pickett Engineering got the contract again by bribing government officials.
The story of Pickett Engineering's involvement in cleaning up the river is demonstrative of Mr. Pickett's financial power: he can do a terrible job, fail to deliver what he promises, and then find a way to keep his contract. This shows what power and privilege can become when unchecked. Notably, Pickett’s behavior harms many other people who suffer because the river remains unsanitary.
Themes
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Daisy smiles a big, victorious smile. Aza notices her crooked teeth. Daisy explains that she tricked a junior reporter into sending her the police report. Aza tries not to think about it, but finally asks Daisy if the junior reporter will get in trouble when his bosses find out what he did. Aza's thoughts spiral and she insists the junior reporter will find them. Daisy insists that he'll learn an important and "minimally harmful" lesson about phishing, and then returns to an argument with someone on the internet about whether Chewbacca is a person or not.
Daisy's crooked teeth are a clue that she didn't have braces. Again, readers see that despite Daisy's lack of financial power, she's more than capable of creating a sense of power in other ways—in this case, by impersonating the junior reporter's superior. Daisy moves right on to debating personhood with internet strangers. It's implied that she fully believes Chewbacca is a person.
Themes
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Holly drops off the check and Aza puts her mom's debit card down, noting that Daisy never has money. Daisy angrily explains that the guy she's arguing with is saying she writes about bestiality because Chewbacca and Rey are in love. Daisy insists that Chewbacca is a person because he has a soul, feelings, and a language. Aza's spiral loosens. She asks if Chewbacca is a person because he's sentient. Daisy grumbles on about consenting adults who just so happen to be Wookiees, and explains the Wookiee language to Aza. In the Wookiee language, Daisy tells Aza to text Davis.
Daisy offers some potential signs of personhood, suggesting that perhaps she has a more developed or clearer conception of personhood than those around her (like Aza) who seem to struggle with such fundamental questions. Perhaps Aza’s spiral loosens because Daisy provides her with a welcome distraction, or perhaps because Aza feels momentarily assured by Daisy that she herself is a person.
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Language and Meaning Theme Icon
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