Full of Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing? A Reflection on 13RW

In 2017, the Netflix production 13 Reasons Why greatly preoccupied people. It deals with the suicide of the high school student Hannah Baker. On the one hand, the series was seen as a public health issue that would endanger the lives of adolescents by offering them the wrong way out of their crises. On the other hand, suicide stories have always been conceptual lenses through which people at all times have aimed to understand the world they lived in and reflected how it should be.

Against this background, my essay Th1rteen R3asons Why: About Giving and Reflecting Reasons looks at the series as a work of fiction and thus, studies the narrative structure of Hannah’s thirteen reasons. By doing so, I aim to understand and review her reasons and reflect how they contribute to our deliberations on the good life and morally right actions – after all, the central tasks of application-oriented ethics. After introducing the plot, I will discuss the series’ narrative structure by contextualising it as a suicide story and as such, as a conceptual lens attracting our attention to the fragile condition of a protagonist in its social context. In this vein, I express my surprise how much the public debate focusses on (the permissibility of showing) suicide and how little on sexual violence.

This is the first draft. Please do not quote without my permission. However, (critical) feedback is welcome.

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