How is the phrase "It's personal" used in the book? Do you agree? Are there other things, for you, to which that statement applies?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 10/23/12
Join Date: 08/16/11
The phrase "It's personal" is an obvious reference to abortion as a woman's personal choice. But I think it also reflects Hannah's evolving concept of religion. The Trinity party's version of religion was forced on Hannah all her life, and she thought it was the only true religion--everything is predestined, free will does not exist. But by the end of the book her thoughts on religion had evolved. When she stopped to admire the Episcopal church in Maxon, she recalled that her mother had made disparaging comments about the Episcopal church because of its notorious liberalism. And standing in front of the church on that snowy night, Hannah "wanted more than anything to step over the threshold into that jeweled luminescence, that possibility of grace." When Reverend Easter asked her if she knew why she was there, Hannah didn't answer out loud but thought "I came looking for Him." And I don't think the "Him" was Aidan. By the end of the book, Hannah thought of religion as a personal journey towards God, something that she would have to muster the strength to do within herself.
Join Date: 05/08/11
The phrase "it's personal" evolved throughout the book just as Hannah evolved into a different person. At first it was simply a password but became a definition of Hannah as a person who was able to think for herself and structure her own life. When it is used at the end to allow her to enter Canada it symbolizes her journey as well as her identity as separate from her parents, her religion, and most definitely from Aiden.
Join Date: 04/12/12
It's personal represented each person's individuality, the journey they have traveled, and the freedom to make their own decisions, have their own beliefs. I think it also represented each character's convictions about the choices they make.
Join Date: 04/11/11
I agree with other posts that this was a statement of individual choices not only for the theme of abortion rights but as a belief system. Hannah initially associates it with the choice of abortion when she meets Simone but as others have said it takes on much more than that single issue. Every choice she makes as she moves forward as an independent thinking individual adds more meaning to the phrase.
Join Date: 05/26/12
"The personal is political" is a common saying in feminism, so when the characters used the phrase "it's personal," I didn't necessarily think it mean that it was an individual response. "Personal" can be more than an individual's feelings or response, especially in the type of society that existed in the book, in which an individual's exact location and history can be found by anyone at any time.
Join Date: 06/01/11
Join Date: 07/28/11
As a person who does not believe that humans should have the choice to take another's life - from the womb to the tomb - I expected this book, despite the fact that I'm not easily offended, to be an uncomfortable read. However, I was fascinated with the plot, though I certainly have quite a different worldview and perspective on sanctity of life and religion in the United States. (My views are complex, though, as I consider myself a feminist on most levels.)
One thing that gave me a lot of food for thought - and it's now been at least a month or two now ago that I read the book - was the repeated phrase, "it's personal."
I've always considered that phrase to be sort of a synonym for "it's none of your business" which could translate into - "this has nothing to do with you" or "this doesn't affect you."
However, I am always curious about how our choices DO affect one another - our 'big' choices and our 'small' ones, and try to live my life as though my choices matter. All of our choices matter, and all of our choices affect other people.
Though I didn't agree with their politics, I did have admiration for the passion of the people who risked their own lives to help others. And in that regard, "It's personal" could be translated into, "I don't want to share my painful story, but I want to do everything I can to help you."
Please login to post a response.