Theme and Motif in Paper Towns by John Green (Book Review Sample)

Saturday July 30, 2022

Theme and Motif in Paper Towns by John Green
From a literacy point of view, a theme is a lesson, message, or universal idea of the author. In the book Paper Towns, Green presents several themes based on character change. In that regard, Margo has changed, as seen when Quentin is obsessed over her. Margo has abandoned her innocence and neglected her friends. Margo says, “I didn’t really look down and think about how everything was made of paper. I looked down and thought about how I was made of paper. I was the flimsy-foldable person, not everyone else […] People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. And the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know?”(Green 32).  In this quote, Margo is explaining to Quentin why she changed and why she runs away. Therefore, the change of Margo contributes to the theme of false perception. Quentin says, “I wonder if [Margo] created this journey for us on purpose or by accident—regardless, it’s the most fun I’ve had since the last time I spent hours behind the wheel of a minivan”(Green 28). At first, Quentin romanticizes the personality of Margo only to realize that she has changed into a selfish and capricious character.

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