What is Alice´s diary marked on

What is Alice´s diary marked on?

Alice is just an ordinary fifteen-year-old, white, middle-class teenager. She still goes to school, she isn´t very body-conscious (like most of the other adolescents of her age) and she has already pictured her future. In short: The protagonist of the true story is not a lot different from all the other teenagers.

But on July 9 Alice is turned to acid. Sometimes she worries about her dependence, but taking drugs makes her life more bearable, easy and uncomplicated. It helps her escape from daily routine and problems, and to cope with growing and becoming an adult.

Her parents notice that their daughter´s behaviour has changed, but they just put it down to her puberty period linked with bad company. Alice comes from a good family, so her Mum and her Dad don´t even have the idea for their child being a drug addict. And for this reason they can´t help her to get out of the vicious circle. Her cries for aid only reach her diary. It is the sole one she trusts in, offers her secrets and opens her soul to.

So this book is a personal, precise biography that provides insights into the world we live in and how an adolescent deals with it. It is no statement on teenage drug art and it doesn´t offer any solutions. So to say it´s a story written by life.

The title is a kind of invitation -Like: „If you don´t believe me go and ask Alice“

On the dark cover there is a young girl hiding her face. I think she´s ashamed.

There is a recommendation of the „Guardian“ on the back of the book.

I don´t think that my interest would be stirred if I just leafed through the book while browsing in a bookshop. Why not? In general I don´t really enjoy true-to-life stories. When I find some spare time to read I want to relax and slip into someone else´s shoes. I want to escape from my problems and to see the world from an other point of view. The book „Go ask Alice“ deals with the difficulties of being a teenager in the modern world. Well, that´s me. I identify with the central character of the book and so I have to face my own adolescence-worries and dangers several times while reading.

Usually I devour my books, I give myself completely over to them and I train my imagination by seeing things in a different light. I cherish to relax when I´m reading, but that´s impossible when I have to consider about society, my life and the world I live in all the time. That´s kind of stressing and depressing. Moreover in my opinion drug abuse is a topic too many books have already dealt with. There is nearly nothing to extract from this subject any more. I really don´t know why drug art still is such a big deal although there has been said almost everything about it.

What kind of person is Alice?

Alice feels inferior. It seems to her that she´s an ugly duckling, a kind of throwback, a misfit, a mistake and an outsider even of her own family. She´s sure that she´ll never be able to measure up to anyone´s expectations. Sometimes she tries to be someone else, someone important because she´s feeling rather unsettled. From time to time she catches herself trying to fit in and say and do the right things, be in the right place and wear what everybody else is wearing, like a robot. But Alice doesn´t want to be like a weak-willed machine. She tries to be strong and consistant. To be positive, cheerful and wealthy. Her biggest wishes are to be wanted, accepted, beautiful and popular. She wants to belong to someone but even in her family she feels to be an outcast, a drag on them. Alice is unsure about her parent´s love because they are always nagging at her and treating her like a little child, especially her mum. But in a certain way she wants to be like her one time.

Sibling rivalry with her brother Tim and her sister Alexandria is getting right out of control and that´s why she can´t decide if she loves them more than she hates them or the other way round. Her mother is always comparing her with her other two kids and that´s one of the things that really shatter Alice´s nerves.

She remembers being able to talk to her mother when she had troubles, but now she finds it difficult to talk about her thoughts and her emotions because at the moment it seems as if they are speaking different languages and the meanings don´t come across the right way. So the only close friend she can share her moods and tears with, the only one she can tell about her insecurity and her sense of being fed up with herself or feeling slobby is her diary. Well, until she gets to know Beth. The two girls talk about everything under the sun, for example sex. Beth is Jewish and for this reason she doesn´t care a lot about this topic because she has to stay a virgin until marriage. In Alice´s point of view sex is a strange, inconvenient and awkward thing. She can´t imagine it to be graceful She swears to die a virgin if she doesn´t come together with Roger, and so it seems to be tragic that her - as she calls it - one and only true love of her life is over when she´s only fifteen. Moreover Alice thinks that all of the boys are oversexed and that she is developing very slowly in this respect.

The first time she thinks about death is when her grandpa has a heart attack and is dying. She wonders if there is a life after death, but she hopes so. Alice knows that their souls will go back up to God, yet she can´t bear the thought of their bodies rotting and eaten by worms and maggots in the dark cold ground. One day when she will die she rather wants to be cremated.

„School is like a nightmare,“ she points out. Everything is dumb, old and dull. In her new school the teachers are idiots and drags and she doesn´t want the other children to stare at her in this curious and hostile way they do.

The traits of character that make her liable to addiction are her self-consciousness because of being a loner, her seclusion, her depressions and her qualities of being easily discouraged and always putting the blame on herself. Moreover it would be better if she had a contact, for example her mother or a good friend.

In what respect does Jill´s party make a turning point in Alice´s life?

Alice looks forward to spending her holidays with her friend Beth, yet it happens that the Jewish girl has to go to a camp for six weeks. So Alice visits her grandparents but still at their place she nearly dies of boredom and almost becomes mad there. For this reason she is full of enthusiasm when her old friend Jill calls her to come to her party. It is a tremendous, wonderful, miraculous and incredible experience for her: She is accepted as she has always been one of their crowd. Someone explains that they would play „Button, Button, Who´s got the Button?“ this night and offers Alice some coke that she sipps slowly without knowing there is LSD in it. Suddenly everybody seems to be watching everybody else. After some minutes Alice feels something strange inside herself like a storm, the she starts to sweat. She thinks that they want to poison her but she is calmed by Bill. Later she halluzinates echos of voices and strange patterns shifting on the ceiling. She becomes one with the music, she starts laughing hysterically and isn´t able to talk any more. For the first time in her whole life she is full of herself, she loses her sense about reality and the very first time she feels completely uninhibited.

This experience causes that she wants to try pot once, just because of curiosity and she doesn´t worry about becoming dependent because she thinks that one dose doesn´t make her addicted. She doesn´t see the dangers of taking drugs, but only the positive aspect of being able to escape from reality.

What are the various drugs Alice experiments on?

When Alice is out with Bill she experiments with „torpedos“ and „Speed“. Both drugs are like riding shooting stars through the Milky Way, but a trillion times better. First she is a little bit scared of Speed because Bill has to inject it right into her arm. When the drug works she can hardly control herself, but she doesn´t even want to. She dances, feels great, free, abandoned, different and improved like belonging to an other species. The trip is wild and beautiful and so she can´t wait to try it again...

One week later she tries acid and this time she uses drugs it is groovier and greater than all the other times. She´s examing the exoticness and the magnificance of her hand - she´s discovering the marvel of her body. While being on her trip she has her first sex with Bill that is exciting, wonderful and indescribable.

The next day Alice can´t believe that it is all real. She thinks if the other kids ever had sex or got started on a ride. She´s mixed up and living in doubts, apprehension and fears that she has never dreamed possible. What if she´s pregnant? Alice is ashamed and regrets the whole thing. It seems as if her life is over, as if everything is too late.

When and why does Alice try to disrupt the vicious circle she has got caught in?

Alice wants to live so that everyone can be proud of her and so that she can proud of herself too. She insists to quit with taking drugs and so she looks for excusions not to go to parties, to see her friends or answer the phone. Four days after her first time she had sex Roger comes back into her life. She doesn´t want him to get to know about her trips and the relationship with Bill because she knows he wouldn´t forgive her. She even doesn´t know how to forgive and repent herself. So she tries to forget everything.

The girl is searching for someone who understands her, who knows a lot about drugs to support her to get out of this vicious circle. She has become afraid of living as much as of dying. Because she is unable to fall asleep the doctor prescribes her sleeping pills that are a possibility for her to be took over by sweet nothingness. Soon she needs more of the tranquilizers to cause the desired effect: To stop her head thinking about she´s pregnant or not.

If Alice asked me what to do at this stage of her dependence I would recommend her to go and see the doctor and talk to him about her troubles seriously. He can also tell her if she´s pregnant or not and inform about the therapies to be cured from drug abuse. It´s the doctor´s job to support people who need aid medically and emotionally. Moreover the physician mustn´t tell her parents about her visit if she doesn´t want to. 

What about the relationship within her family?

Alice´s parents are really anxious about their daughter and want to have a talk with her. Then they flow tears and flowers about how much they love her and that they are concerned about her attitude since her return from Gran´s. They talk and talk, but they never once hear one thing Alice tries to say them. In fact she would like to pour out her heart to them about her cares, but finally she gives up trying to do so.

Her Mum and Dad just nag, correct, yack, preach and harp instead of letting her talk. They say that she is beginning to act as a hippie and they are afraid the wrong kind of people will be drawn to her. Well, her parents are too conservative to notice what´s happening. Her father just yells her for her slang and her look. So Alice can´t bear it to stay at home any more.

Does Alice really associate with the wrong sort of people?

Alice is so happy about having a new best friend that she wants to become like Chris, she always has an idol she wants to become like. It´s common in Chris´ hippie-group to take drugs, especially uppers like „Benny“. Chris takes advantage of her younger friend´s desire of belonging to somebody and joining a group of people. She helps her to be happier and full of energy and vitality, but in a wrong way. She guides her deeper into the drug scene and Alice soon smokes pot. The effects are even greater than expected. Soon her friends want to return her on to hash and booze. Her partner Richie shows her how to smoke and how to use a hookah pipe and also gives her some joints. This trip makes her feel happy and free like a bird flying into the sky, as well as perfect and extremely relaxed. The drugs open all of her senses and that´s an unforgetable experience for her.

Richie makes them give up their jobs and become pushers to get money to buy their drugs. Alice seems to be absolutely happy. She´s hooked on Richie and would do everything for him. But she doesn´t notice that she already does...

One day she sells ten stamps of LSD to a nine-year-old and that´s what makes her think about drugs a lot. Moreover she finds out that her boyfriend is queer and that she is just one of his chicks, so she turns him in to the police to protect the younger kids of becoming a drug addict, although she´s afraid of Richie´s revenge.

Chris and Alice decide to stay clean, drop out of school and go to San Francisco because they don´t want their families to know that they are weak and reputable persons. Alice understands that the drugs are the root and the cause of this whole rotten, stinking mess she´s in and she wishes she had never heard of them.

The two girls get a job in a boutique and one day they are invited to a big party of their boss. And there the inevitable happens: That is the scene and Alice wants to be part of it. For this reason she starts smoking joints again and has to worry about being pregnant a second time.

The next week she gets convinced to inject heroine (also called „Smack“), and she feels gentle, drowny and floating above reality. When she comes down again she notices that the other members of the party had taken turns raping her and treating her brutally.

Which sections of the book are characterised by Alice´s mood shifts?

Alice is very confident about things improving. The two girls rent an apartment to live in and a boutique to sell jewellery. But the Christmas atmosphere makes them become homesick and think about going back home. Alice´s moods swing between optimism and deep depressions. Sometimes she dreams about returning home and live her life the way when she was fourteen. She feels lonely and heartbroken. It seems as if she is wasting her life away. The only ray of hope is Christmas, then she´ll be at home again.

Alice is a very moody person but usually her moods are linked with her current boyfriends. This is the first time she decides for her own. She isn´t a weak-willed robot any more. It seems as if she knows what she´s doing, as if she was having concrete imagines about her future. She doesn´t want to waste her life any more, she has already done too many mistakes in the past. Now she wants to start to lead a normal life again and forget her drug-taking. Well, she has become older and perhaps more intelligent and confident.

What does it mean to Alice to spend Christmas and New Year´s Eve at home?

Returning home at Christmas is the greatest homecoming anyone ever had, and Alice doesn´t want to leave her family again. It is going to be the best Christmas than ever before because it hasn´t been as peaceful, joyful and graceful at home ever before. It just seems as if time has been turned back and all of the bad things never happened. At New Year´s Eve she´s grateful to be rid of the old year. Alice wishes she could just tear it out of her life like pages from the calendar. Now she´s just happy, triumphant and feels grown-up because her family asks her to help them make preparations for the big New Year´s party. Moreover she´s happy that her parents incorporate her best friend Chris an a very friendly way into their family.

What is it like to be an adolescent?

Suddenly there is a point in your age of puberty you become accepted as an individual, as a personality, as an entity. But until that day adolescents have a very rocky insecure time. Grown-ups treat them like children and yet expect them to act like adults. They give them orders like little animals or pets, then expect them to react very mature, and always rational, selfassured persons of legal stature. It is a difficult, lost vicillating time.

In fact even parents don´t really know how to treat their teenagers or how to communicate with them. I think in a certain way they are as insecure as their children.

How do Alice´s parents react as they learn about her drug-addiction and drug pushing?

When Alice´s parents get to know about her drug addiction and her pushing they give her family support. They are grateful that she had even confided in them and promise her to plan something special for the next couple of weekends in order not to be leaded into temptation to use drugs any more. Probably they have thought a lot about the relationship with their daughter when she had gone away from home. They seem to be more open for her emotions and problems, they try to give advice and communicate seriously with her. They attemt everything for Alice not to get into the drug scene any more because they know she´s likely to lapse back into her old habits although she seems to be confident. They give her all the love, time and attention they can afford, they always keep her busy so that she does not get up to mischief and try to protect her from the big bogie man.

When do the bad times start?

The real bad times start on January 23. Alice becomes aware that she is addicted, she knows that she can´t leave it any more. (Quotation, page 72: „After you have had it, there isn´t even life without drugs. It´s a prodding, colourless, dissonant bare existence. It stinks. And I´m glad I´m back.“) She relapses and smokes joints again; it´s such a beautiful, wonderful, great feeling and for this reason she´s delighted she´s turned on again. Some days later she asks Lane to get her uppers. One day the police raids Chris´s house and catch the two girls taking drugs. But when they pretend that it is their very first time they don´t get any trouble. Alice´s parents become suspicious of her using uppers again and insist her to see the doctor. She refuses and so her family starts controlling her whatever she does and wherever she goes and send her to a psychiatrist (she calls him „headshrinker“). in secret she takes pills like „co-pilots“ every day to have this great feeling of being full of herself.

In March she runs away from home once again and lives with a couple of kids in Denver. She has reached the stage where she would do nearly everything to get her acid. One day she wakes up in the street and runs a fever, but she can´t find any of her friends to ask them for help. Alice is so desperated that she goes to church and asks a priest for help. He recommends her to get to a Salvation Army type place. There they let her have a shower, give her clean clothes and some Kotex, feed her and bring her to a health clinic. There she´s told that her body is run down and malnourished, but she doesn´t really care about this. All she can think about is how to get some drugs.

What´s Doris´s life story?

Alice meets Doris in the doctor´s waiting room. Doris has been in Denver for a couple of months and knows everything and everybody here. She´s only fourteen, but she looks like eighteen or nineteen. Time passes by and the two girls start to beg for a little food and a fix. One day Doris tells Alice about her life´s story: She has had nothing but shit since she was ten years old. Her mother was married four times by the time Doris was ten and had humped with who knows how many men in between. And when Doris had just turned eleven her current stepfather started having sex but good, and the poor little stupid bastard didn´t even know how to do about it because he threatened to kill her if she ever told her mother or anyone else. So she put up with the sonofabitch balling her till she was twelve. The one day when he had hurt her pretty bad she told her gym teacher why she couldn´t do the exercises. The teacher had her taken away and put into a juvenile home till they could find a foster home. But even that wasn´t much better, because both the teenage brothers gave it to her and later on an older teenage girl turned her in and turned her on drugs, then took her the homo route. Since then she´s pulled down her pants and hooped into bed with anyone who would turn down the covers, or part the bushes.

What gives her the energy to start a new diary?

With her old diary Alice wants to break with her past. She takes her confidence from her optimism about her future and her plans for it. She wants to spend the rest of her life helping other people who are just like her. Her love to her diary, her life and God helps her to start a new diary. The most important cause why she does so is that she wants to go back to her family and make them proud of her. She wants to feel the warmth and love of her home again, and now she´s 100 percent sure about her father´s love because every time something happens to her he leaves everything in the whole world and comes. That´s what gives her the energy to attemt to begin a new life.  

In what way do her schoolmates bully Alice?

  1. Jan asks her to come to her „party“ tonight, but when she decines with thanks Jan just smiles and says: „We know you´ll be back.“ But Alice doesn´t want to lapse back - she´s scared of being unable to say „No!“ if somebody is bullying her to do something.

  2. An other day Jan bangs into her in the hall and calls her „Nancy Nice“ and „Mary Pure“ and Alice begins to feel very low. She wants to be transferred to an other school where nobody knows about her past.

  3. On May 19 someone puts a joint into her purse . Because of this she becomes so scared that she has to cut the next class and take a cab over to her Dad´s office.

  4. One month later Jan sidles up to her when she´s walking down the ramp and whispers: „You better tell your little sister not to accept candy from strangers or even from friends, especially your friends.“ Alice puts the message not to take candies from anyone in a roundabout way to her sister.

  5. The next day in the store some kids call her „Miss Double Triple Fink Mouth“ and threaten to put some shit into her father´s car to get him into troubles. Slowly they are driving her crazy. She decides the best to do is to ignore them. Then they will eventually give up. But she´s mistaken.

  6. Someone puts a burning roach in her locker. The headmaster wants Alice to give him the name of the culprit, and although she suspects Jan she doesn´t betray her. She is too afraid of the acts of vengeance of the gang.

  7. In the market Alice meets Marcie who tells her that the party tonight would be her last chance and that they are going to get her anyway. When some kids are picked up at a party they think that Alice has a hand in this. Although she wants to explain that she hasn´t got anything to do with it nobody listens to her. Now she doesn´t think she can take it, even with her boyfriend Joel and her family behind her.

  8. On June 23 a boy grabs and threatens her in the park but nobody helps her. He pushes her around to the back of the clump of the bushes, kisses her with his tongue and says that all she needs is a good fuck and that she mustn´t tell anyone or he´ll come back.

Which persons offer their support?

Her Mum tries to help Alice to cope with the death of her granddad. She tries to take her mind off her worries and make her look into the future. They talk about Alice´s idea to become a social worker or something in that area, and her mother is very understanding.

Her Dad takes her with him to an anti-war rally at the university. He talks to her as though she is an adult and that´s what makes her feel important and accepted. He also tells her that the whole family is behind her and that she has to be adult and strong when she finds a joint in her purse.

One day Alice gets to know Joel in the library. He´s a nice student and the two young people soon make friends. When her Grandma dies he gives her a lot of strengh and offers her to come over. Joel helps her with his presence and his mature thoughts about death and life.

Also her younger brother Tim supports her. He´s just thirteen, but he surprises Alice with very mature thoughts too. He offers her to be her contact.

Correct the statements:

  1. When baby-sitting at Mrs. Larsen´s place somebody trips Alice by putting acid on the chocolate covered peanuts she eats. On her trip she´s screaming and halluzinating that her dead Gramps calls her and tries to help her, but his body is dripping with blazing multicoloured worms and maggots that fall on the floor behind him and want to eat her up. On her ride she hurts herself really seriously and is taken to some kind of hospital jail.

  2. Alice´s parents aren´t disappointed but believe in her. They look after her while she has to stay in this kind of hospital jail. Her mum writes Joel that Alice is in hospital by telling him that she had had kind of a nervous breakdown. Her dad takes care of her jurisdiction and promises her to help her to get out of the „crazy house“ as soon as possible and put her into the hands of a proper psychiatrist.

  3. Joel doesn´t split up with Alice but the other way round. He continues writing letters to her while she´s in treatment. And after her dad has told him the truth about his girlfriend he writes her a ten pages letter. That´s the way he supports his partner.

  4. Alice is very scared when she´s sent to a State Mental Hospital. She calls it an insane asylum, a loony bin, a crazy house, a freak wharf, where she can wander around with all the other lunatics and idiots. At Boobie Hatch she´s registered, catalogued and questioned. They take her down a smelly, ugly, dingy, paintpeeling, old hallway and through a locked door which is locked again behind her. When she sees the people there she knows that she doesn´t belong to them and it seems to her that the whole world is full of crazy people.

  5. On July 25 she´s taken to the Youth Center. If she wants the privilege of going to school she will have to go and see Doctor Miller and sign a commitment that she´s ready to live according to all the other rules and regulations.

  6. Doctor Miller tells her that the hospital can´t help her, and the staff can´t help her, and the teachers can´t help her, and the program which had proved very successful can´t help her, unless she wanted help! He also insists her to admit that she has a problem, but she is sure she hasn´t. She doesn´t open her mouth once when she´s at Dr. Miller´s practise because he´s so frightened.

  7. Babbie is the girl living in the room next to Alice´s. He´s just 13 and she seems constantly on the verge of tears. She has been on drugs for two years. Her parents were divorced when she was ten and she was sent to live with her father who´s a contractor and who´s remarried. She was jealous of her new mother´s children and felt like an outsider, so she began spending more and more time away from home. Although she was going to school only half of the time she was bringing home good grades and so her parents didn´t seem to be interested. Babbie was introduced to drugs and to life in general by a 32 year old man. So at 12 she became a BP, a baby prostitute. After about a year her parents became suspicious, so she robbed the next man she found and took a bus to LA, where BP´s are never in trouble to bet by. There a „friend“ offered her she could live with her and go to school if she worked for her two hours daily. After a few weeks Babbie ran away and hitch-hiked to San Francisco where she was beaten up and raped. Some time later she wandered off with a guy who had set up his own lab to make LSD. That´s why she got mixed up in some communical shit and landed in the Youth Center. Now her parents don´t want her any more.

  8. Alice finds it very interesting to listen to the other kids at the group therapy. Talking about their problems makes them understand themselves a little better she thinks and they aren´t „feeding their problems“ then. She hopes that the time she is spending at the Youth Center will make her a more capable person and perhaps she´ll get something out of this place instead of being broken by it.

  9. Tom is a handsome, likesable, extremely articulate 15-year-old guy, the kind of person people automatically feel comfortable around. So Alice asks him why he was in the Youth Center. He answers that he came from a solid, comfortable, unbroken home and that he was popular with great many people. One day he and his buddies heard about sniffling glue and because it sounded exciting they tried it. He started taking pills like tranquilizers, cold remedies and sleeping pills. Because he didn´t have any more any more he applied at the most logical place - a drugstore. Tom was laid off when they found out about Tom´s taking pills. After that a friend introduced him to Smack and he started pushing. Alice thinks that he´s still freaked out, for even now he almost has a contact high just talking about drugs.

  10. Alice is allowed to go home on August 9 because her dad got Jan to sign an affidavit saying that Alice wasn´t pushing at the school and both tried to get Marcie to retract her statement. Alice is happy to be in her own room again and to feel the love of her family. It´s load off her mind that her family doesn´t hate her, because in a lot of ways she hates herself.

  11. Fawn invites her to come over tonight and go swimming in their pool. Maybe Alice can get back in with the straight kids. But she´s unsure, insecure and afraid of being expelled because of being not smart enough or because of the stories that went around about her. Finally her premotions about Fawn´s party are ridiculous. It is great, the kids are nice and she´s accepted very well. But she is still afraid that someone starts talking about her being picked up and she´s uncertain about whether to tell her friends the truth.

  12. When Alice notices that summer is almost gone although it doesn´t seem as though it´s been here at all she starts to think about her life. She doesn´t want to get old and she has this silly fear that one day she will be old, without ever having really been young. She wonders if it could happen that quickly or if she has ruined her life already. It seems to her as if her life gets by her without ever seeing it. Time flies, she thinks. It seems only yesterday she was a child.

  13. On her 16th birthday Joel comes to see her, and that´s the most beautiful gift for her. Her family told her to take a bath and set her hair and not to come down until she was the most beautiful creature in the world. And when she came down there was her boyfriend in the living room. Joel gives her a white enameled friendship ring with little flowers all over it and she should wear it until she dies.

  14. Alice won´t keep a diary or a journal through her whole life because when a person gets older she should be able to discuss her problems and thoughts with other people instead of just with another part of herself as her diary has been to her.

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