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Reviving Ophelia

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Reviving Ophelia & My Experiences

I opened Reviving Ophelia with an open mind. As a 17-year old high school junior, I am usually turned off by books that my mother and teacher enjoy. This one, however, was much different. Immediately, I was pulled into the book. Maybe it was because I realized that ...
I opened Reviving Ophelia with an open mind. As a 17-year old high school junior, I am usually turned off by books that my mother and teacher enjoy. This one, however, was much different. Immediately, I was pulled into the book. Maybe it was because I realized that I am one of the girls Pipher is talking about; I am Ophelia. I doubt if I was a boy or even a father I would be very interested, but because it pertained to me directly I was pulled into the reading. I could relate to each and every one of the 'characters' in one way or another. I felt for these girls and their problems, and each and every one of them contributed to the book. I don't think I've ever read a book before and was able to just say 'Yes! I know exactly what you are talking about!' It's nice to know that there are actual studies done on teenagers; that someone would think to take the time to figure out what it is with teenagers (girls in particular) that make us the way we are. Mary Pipher's main thesis is practically the life of every teenage girl out there, including myself. It makes me realize that as a young teenage girl, I am not alone. By reading this book, I have learned that society just expects boys to be able to handle more on their own and be more independent than girls. That is just an assumption made by many. As to if it's true or not, I couldn't say because I am not a boy, I have no brothers, and I have never read a book about the lifestyle of a teenage boy. A lot of girls today no longer have the support behind them telling them 'You are not alone'. The author's tone was very sympathetic and understanding to the girls, and she told each story with a personal glimpse behind it. It's almost as if Mary Pipher had known each and every one of those girls for years. Each tale of the unique girls had a conflict and resolution. Throughout the last third of the book, a lot of the girls' problems had to do with their relationships with others. Boyfriends, moms, dads, and siblings were all common topics. Some of the girls that I read about were so interesting that I wish I could read more about them. Mary Pipher has established a theme that growing up as an adolescent girl is not easy. It's challenging, confusing, scary, and exciting all at the same time. Adults sit back and watch us run and fall, and they have to step back and let us get up on our own. We won't learn anything by not falling, but there comes a point when the last time you fall and you feel as though you are never going to make it back up, an adult is needed to lend that hand and pick us back up. Pipher calls it 'girl-poisoning'. Girls are pushed to be someone they aren't; do things they don't want to do; and be happy doing it. There is media, sexism, feminism, and raging hormones that are everywhere. Throughout this book, these girls' tales have been completely real and un-cut. They tell it how it is, and then Pipher explains the psychological aspects behind what they feel and think. One of my favorite phrases in the book was, 'Ophelia died because she could not grow. She became the object of others' lives and lost her true subjective self.' (Pipher 292) Ophelia is from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In Hamlet, she is a free and happy child who loses herself at adolescence. When she falls in love with Hamlet, her only objective in life becomes living for his approval. Torn apart by her efforts to please both her Hamlet and her parents, she loses the fight when Hamlet rejects her for being a compliant daughter. Beset by grief, and without any inner direction, Ophelia drowns in a creek, weighed down by her heavy and elegant clothes. Pipher uses the title Reviving Ophelia in reference to bringing back what died inside Ophelia- that adolescence innocence. Is it really possible to bring back a self that you lost? And if you did bring back that self, would it be the same thing? Mary Pipher is posing the question, What can we as a society do to help adolescent

posted by Anonymous on January 4, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

what the hell?

this book does NOT explain teens today. it is very outdated and repetitive. what she basically says is: a) teens lose all interest in sports b) teens lose all communication with parents c) teens become depressed d) yada yada yada and i just couldn't read any m...
this book does NOT explain teens today. it is very outdated and repetitive. what she basically says is: a) teens lose all interest in sports b) teens lose all communication with parents c) teens become depressed d) yada yada yada and i just couldn't read any more. a waste of my time.

posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    If this is the true picture of teenage girls, our society is in deep trouble!

    My husband and I have two very different teenage daughters. The first is a 4.2 student, long-legged, blonde, poised, and certain she has risen above the angst. She is just waiting for her friends to catch up (yet she never leaves the house and picks on her parents relentlessly). The second, three years younger, was a tomboy, popular with the boys and girls, and them --bam--hit junior high and 'where'd she go?' When the second hit a critical point, we looked for guidance and the therapist recommended this book, Reviving Ophelia.' I read it, wanting to help my daughter, only to realize we were sailing through as parents if the case studies were even half right. I suppose Ms. Pipher has the view of one who has seen it all 'alcohol abuse, drugs, sex, cutting, suicide, holy smokes!! Good God!!' Well if this book did anything it reinforced that we were on the right track and I shouldn't lose too much more sleep. But it does beg the question, is this really a true picture of what girls go through in our society? If it is, we as a society are in big 'BIG!!' trouble. I don't think it is. Call it denial, I just refuse to believe it's that bad. Still thanks for the basic advice, Mary. I did take quite a few notes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2000

    The book was just ok, but not great.

    The book vas very informative but it got really boring and slow in the middle and the end, the beginning was the only good part. It said why girls have problems and why we are different from boys, but the rest of the book just keeps repeating the same information in different words and different stories. I reccomend the beginning of the book but the rest is just dull and boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2010

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    Posted November 30, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

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