What are some morals of Turtles All the Way Down?

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One of the morals Turtles All the Way Down teaches us is that we are stronger when we share our struggles with others. If you recall, sixteen-year-old Aza struggles with both anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as feelings of grief over losing her father. This is a heavy...

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One of the morals Turtles All the Way Down teaches us is that we are stronger when we share our struggles with others. If you recall, sixteen-year-old Aza struggles with both anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as feelings of grief over losing her father. This is a heavy burden for anyone, but like many teens, Aza is reluctant to ask for help, even from her mother and her best friend, Daisy. It is easier to act as if everything is fine than to show vulnerability. What she doesn't recognize is that both her mother and her best friend carry her burdens regardless, because they care about her; her inability to discuss her struggles openly damages her relationship with Daisy for a portion of the novel.

Aza is not the only one who is fearful of asking for help with struggles. Davis, the boy she begins dating, and his brother, Noah, both grapple with inner demons as they attempt to understand their billionaire father's disappearance, becoming even more isolated in the aftermath.

However, their father's disappearance creates the setting for Aza and Davis to build a relationship of trust and a willingness to unload their burdens on one another. Through the course of the novel, we see both of them mature as they begin to recognize that no one can, or should, carry their struggles alone.

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The adventures that Aza embarks upon in Turtles All the Way Down lead her far out of her comfort zone. In deciding to take these risks, however, she is brought back to an important reflection on her own mental health and her closest relationships. The messages that the author presents, which may be seen as having a moralistic tone, have to do with honesty and trust. Aza’s friendship with Daisy is tested at several points, but, ultimately, the girls rely on each other. The message here seems to be that open communication with the people closest to us is extremely important and that we should not take them for granted. As Aza extends herself emotionally and acts to help David, her usual difficulties in dealing with stressful situations seem less important. The author seems to convey that opening ourselves up to new experiences can help us understand and cope with our ordinary lives.

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One of the morals of the story is that it's not always necessary to be in control of our lives. One of Aza's biggest problems is that she always feels that she's somehow losing control. She's scared stiff that she's going to succumb to a dangerous intestinal germ called Clostridium difficile. Her picking away at an unhealed callus on her finger is a way for Aza to assert some much-needed control in her life, a way of warding off what she sees as the ever-present threat of disease. Yet at the same time, Aza isn't really in control at all; in fact, she's being controlled by her irrational thoughts.

Davis Pickett is in the same boat. The sudden disappearance of his billionaire father amid serious fraud allegations makes him realize just how little control he actually has over his life. But he, like Aza, eventually learns to let go. They both come to understand that so much of what happens to us is out of our hands. Fate is what governs us, and there's simply no point in fighting it. All you can reasonably do is adjust yourself to changes beyond your control as best you can. In their own individual ways, that's what both Aza and Davis have managed to do by the end of the story.

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