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Paper Towns

by John Green

❶In this way, road trips highlight the inherent differences between Margo and Quentin, and, ultimately, their incompatibility.

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Taking small-scale road trips around Orlando to find Margo makes Quentin feel more in control of his life, rather a passive follower of the rules as he has always been.

For the first time in his life, Quentin skips school to go to pseudovisions looking for Margo, and the simple act of driving to these locations gives Quentin a sense of agency and adventure he never knew he had. Though driving and road trips equate with independence and self-realization, they also highlight and solidify friendships. The same happens in Part Three.

During both road trips, Quentin has coming-of-age revelations about himself and the world he inhabits. The first road trip with Margo makes him realize that there are ways to experience the world outside of comfort and routine, and the second with his friends makes him realize that he can be content with his values and with himself.

In this way, road trips highlight the inherent differences between Margo and Quentin, and, ultimately, their incompatibility. Quentin and Margo both rely on plans and routines to feel some sense of control in their lives. Quentin feels most comfortable when he follows routines. His father, a therapist, once told Quentin about a patient of his who drew circles obsessively on a piece of paper, and Quentin can sympathize with the soothing nature of this habit and ritual.

He hangs out with friends, attends classes, plays video games, does homework, instant messages, and sleeps. Since that night, he and Margo went separate ways. She asks him to accompany her on an all-nighter of pranks. Margo is on a litany of revenge that includes spray paint, blackmail, and breaking into Sea World. Quentin thinks that this night will bring he and Margo together again as friends.

However, Margo runs away after their adventures. Along the way, Quentin realizes that Margo is not really the person that he thought he knew. Critics admire Green's memorable and unusual characters in this slice of Florida life. At a Glance Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Spiegelman, who as young children are friends, one night find the body of a man named Robert Joyner, who committed suicide in the park.

Quentin and Margo gradually drift apart as they grow older. Quentin appears well-adjusted, but the popular and beautiful Margo seems troubled. A few weeks before high school graduation, Margo asks Quentin to join her for a night of pranks. Margo's pranks are a form of revenge against her high school friends who she thinks have wronged her, starting with her ex-boyfriend.

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