Children’s Literature

The story entitled “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” is about how a young girl handles some of the most important situations in her life. Despite of her curiosities, insecurities, and pretensions, she would be able to answer her dilemmas that brought impact to her life as an adolescent. Her curiosity towards religion gave her involvedness to her society and to her own environment. The story tells how did Margaret overcome her fears, anxieties, and difficulties through the help of her friends and would not rely to her parents due to her family background. She makes her life colorful because she does not want to be like her parents who lived in the shadow of her grandparents.

The title of the story represents uncertainty and inquisitiveness. The main character named Margaret had her insecurities towards her late menstruation and her curiosity of having a religion for she does not know the feeling of having a constant and true belief – the feeling of having a God. I guess that Blume used the phrase “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” for the title of the book because it showed and established the characteristics of the main character and to recognize the main theme of the story – curiosity.

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In terms of characters, it can be said that Margaret’s family, friends, and neighbors are the typical characters that we can encounter in different places having similar personal conflicts and problems. The character of Margaret is a typical curious girl who wants to experience what her friends already experienced – having menstruation. On the other hand, Margaret’s parents are the typical parents who have cultural issues and problems. Her grandmother does not want her mother to marry her father who is Jewish while her mother is a Christian. That is why Margaret was raised having no religion and without acknowledging her grandparents’ existence. When it comes to Margaret’s friends and neighbors, her characterization developed. Her friends and neighbors brought insecurities and curiosities to her life but she became more sensitive to the needs of her surroundings. It can only be said that Margaret’s friends and neighbors opened a wide variety of complexities and confusion, but also gives probable solutions to Margaret’s problem as they give her ideas and concepts regarding her puberty and religion.

After Margaret had her interaction with her friends, her life becomes more difficult because they keep on asking about her religion and wants her to experience having her first menstruation. These pressures helped her to have her own decisions and actions towards her life and journey because it suggests unreliable justifications that brought conflict, dilemmas, and possible solutions to her curiosities and anxieties.

Margaret’s teacher, Mr. Benedict helped her to overcome her problems in religion. She went through different religious quest to determine what kind of religions exists in their community and through this experience, she knew who God really is and would be able to pray all by herself knowing whom and what to pray. After knowing God, she became more prayerful but the time when she could not experience having menstruation as what her friends already experienced, she stopped praying but by the time she experience her menstruations, she went back to God and prayed again. These situations implied that Margaret is not ready to have her faith and is not yet aware to the true definition of belief. She only knew that praying is about asking something. Despite of the fact that she found her belief, she was not convicted to state her trust to God due to her actions.

The setting also moulds Margaret to become open to her perspective as adolescent. It contributes to her actions and decisions that brought impact to her journey along with her interaction to her parents and religion. Because of this, her environment gave her the capability of handling her problems in an ideological way that made her become mature and significant character in the story, because of not only her being the main character but also her perceptions and individuality.