Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness
While questions of identity are par for the course in coming of age novels and young adult novels alike, Turtles All the Way Down goes a step further in exploring the subject of identity. Rather than simply questioning who she is, Aza is consumed by more fundamental and heady questions about whether she exists at all and how much control, if any, she has over her own thoughts, actions, or circumstances.
Aza's questions of identity…read analysis of Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness
Chaos vs. Order and Control
Simply by nature of Aza's mental illness, she's extremely interested in making order out of the chaotic situations in which she finds herself. Often, the novel examines the idea of "order" through circular or spiral patterns: not only is Aza's name a circle of sorts (her name goes from the beginning of the alphabet to the end, then back again), but she often describes her intrusive thoughts as "thought spirals" that leave her…read analysis of Chaos vs. Order and Control
Privilege, Power, and Wealth
Turtles All the Way Down presents a cast of characters from a variety of different financial backgrounds. Davis's family is exceptionally rich: they collect art, have a golf course on their property, and built an onsite sanctuary for Mr. Pickett's pet tuatara, Tua. Aza and Mom, by contrast, are solidly middle class—Aza's mom works as a high school teacher, and Aza has a car. Finally, Daisy works at Chuck E. Cheese's to…read analysis of Privilege, Power, and Wealth