Go Ask Alice

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Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title Go Ask Alice

author Anonymous (some believe it is Beatrice Sparks, one of the editors)

type of work Non-fiction diary

genre Bildungsroman (coming-of-age); epistolary; drug-alcohol

language English

time and place written late 1960s, The United States

date of first publication 1971

publisher Avon Books

narrator Alice

climax Alice is freed from the mental hospital and decides to commit her life to staying clean and helping others

protagonist Alice

antagonist Drugs; society as a whole

setting (time) Late 1960s

setting (place) An unidentified college town; San Francisco/Berkeley; Oregon

point of view Alice's first-person diary entries

falling action The epilogue reveals that Alice died of an overdose several weeks after her last diary entry

tense Immediate past tense

foreshadowing Alice's nightmares about maggots and worms eating her grandparents' corpses materialize in her overdose-driven hallucinations.

tone Alternating between naïve and world-weary

themes Difficulty of communication; problems of adolescent identity

motifs Counterculture and drugs; sexual assault

symbols Maggots and worms