Trees, man, trees

United States

At first I tried, but I wasn't having fun
so I stopped trying
and LET ME TELL YOU
writing is a lot more fun when you anticipate a poor, and in turn, funny, project
ALSO my grammar succcccs, so don't expect much UwU

Dear Evan Hansen

February 19, 2019

    "It's better to burn out, right, than to fade away." Dear Evan Hansen, a novel written alongside the award winning musical Dear Evan Hansen was written by Val Emmich, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson. This novel heavily alludes to messages such as suicide and depression, but in no way glorifies them. This was a major plus I found while reading, as I've seen a lot of media in the past that has. instead of being a sad novel about how awful life is for teens, it takes action and has provided a ridiculous amount of support for its viewers. Crude language and depressing events resulted in the novel having a slightly older demographic, comprised mostly of young teens. Despite this, however, Dear Evan Hansen is about kids trying to discover their place in society. It's a friend for anyone who feels they don't belong. I've personally made about half my friends through bonding with people over how cordial the story is, as the themes shown are just phenomenal. Filled with tree symbolism, Dear Evan Hansen is a guiding hand for anyone who feels like the branches will always cover sunlight at the top of a tree.
    Connor Murphy has always made split-second decisions. Due to this, his peers and family pegged him as a "troubled kid." After trying his best to make friends with an equally shy Evan Hansen, Connor makes one last split second decision. Before his fire went out, Connor made his mark on the world in the form of a signed cast, and a fake suicide note, written by Evan. His fake note was addressed to Evan, due to it being intended for a different purpose, so Connor's family came to him for closure. Evan has to face the morale decision of whether to come clean about his masquerade or not, due to Connor's family treating him with a sense of love and care he never received prior. Soon enough their "friendship" goes viral, and Evan helps bring people like Connor closer together. I mean, if it's helping those around him, along with himself, why stop? The only issue is, somethings just don't add up.
    "Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be an amazing day, and here's why." That's how all of Evans therapeutic letters started, supposedly trying to help his anxiety. Mark Evan Hansen is a social anxiety plagued senior in high school. He desperately wants to be known, to be a part of things. Evan wants to go from boring old "Meh" to the curious and potential filled "Eh." His life is filled with a constantly busy mother, one "family friend," and admiring the girl of his dreams, who just so happens to be related to Connor Murphy, a "bad apple" teen. Along with Evan's social anxiety, he is brimming with self-hatred. Reading the book through his eyes, in my experience, tended to allow for readers to build a sense of resentment toward Evan. A sense of pity escapes viewers as they read, due to Evan constantly talking horribly about himself. Overtime, you start to believe him as well. While my feeling toward Evan were sacrificed, it instilled in me the realization of just how powerful self-hatred is. So many of my friends experience a sense of hate toward themselves, and this piece of knowledge can help any parents reading to better understand what their child is going through. 
    Connor Murphy is known for his violent and drug filled life. Misunderstood by everyone around him, Connor grew depressed and secluded. Despite this, Connor is too innocent for society. I like to think that's why he appealed to me the most out of all the characters. Growing up, I've witnesses tons of peers change for the worse. I'd always think to myself why are they like that? Why did they develop into such horrible people? Connor's story shares the reality that it's our surrounding that cause change. You never know what someone's going through. These people that I judged in the past for their bad behaviors are either little kids being thrown into the societal ocean too deep, or kids with a horrendous past using their actions as a defense mechanism.
    The insanely cool Jared Kleinman is no more. He disappeared the day the Dear Evan Hansen novel was released to the public. Unlike in the theatrical production, which came first, most of the realistically flawed, yet loveable characters are just awful. In the musical, all of the characters are expressed through music. We get to see their thoughts and opinions on the issues they're facing. In contrast, the novel explains their hardships through Evan and Connor's minds, in a first-person view, so their opinions never truly come to light. The novel exceeded all expectations I had regarding Evan and Connor's character development, but the side characters were severely neglected. They were strained from shining, and their potential felt wasted. Due to Evan and Connor seeing the cast as antagonists in the novel, they are villainized, much to my disdain. All of the hardships the side characters were going through just weren't mentioned, which I found sorely unamusing. Whether this is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. While Dear Evan Hansen is one of, if not my favorite book, I suggest you watch the musical first, to get a taste of the side characters for who they really are.
     This heartwarming tale helps people in their darkest hour to realize that they aren't alone. Call it teenage angst, but I found this story in what I could consider the darkest point in my life so far. Hearing Evan and Connor's stories really put into perspective that I wasn't alone in this world, and it helped me to find friends who had similar issues. I was skeptical at first, but Dear Evan Hansen truly helps people come together and find happiness even when it seems impossible.
School taught me to never insert my voice into essays, so this was challenging. Ahhhhh enjoy?
 

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