September 6, 2018
For most of us, our high school experiences were defined by our identity. A number of us were considered cheerleaders, jocks, nerds, goth kids, or drama geeks. Our labels were one of the primary ways in which our peers recognized us. Then what about our identities hidden under the surface? In Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapien’s Agenda she delves into the complicated social dynamics of high school and the significance of being true to yourself and not conforming to others views about you.
In Simon vs. The Homo Sapien’s Agenda Simon, the main character is a sixteen-year-old closeted homosexual. His secret emails with another boy who goes by the name of Blue are discovered by a student named Martin. Who then in turn decides to blackmail Simon, with the threat of outing him, to help him get into a relationship with one of Simon’s new female friends, Abby. Martin says while talking to Simon, “I mean, I guess I’m wondering if you want to help me talk to Abby” (4). This ushers in the official start of Simon being blackmailed and having to deal with the resulting consequences. Eventually, Simon steps out of the dark sinister closet that homosexuality can create, and is hardly treated bad or differently by his friends. Of course this is after some initial teasing from his fellow classmates.
Characters and their development are an important part in the progression of any storyline and Simon vs. The Homo Sapien’s Agenda is no exception. Simon has two sisters, an older one named Alice and a younger one named Nora. Alice being the oldest of three siblings has a much more mature and responsible look on life than her younger counterparts. She is a millennial who does not judge people for living a different way of life than herself. Because of this she is very accepting of Simon and his sexuality, “This is exciting. We can talk about guys” (165). Being understanding of people’s ways of life needs to be a more common occurrence. Nora, being the youngest is a bit more reserved and introverted than her older siblings. Describing Nora, Simon’s younger sister, Albertalli writes, “Nora never really goes out” (41). Being younger she may not have the same connection or drive to hang out with friends as Simon or Alice does. Martin is yet another notable character in the book as he is the main antagonist. Martin just like all of us makes mistakes, one of his being the blackmail of Simon Spier. However, he may very well learn from his blunders, only time will tell though.
The Characters’ development is not the only important aspect of a novel. Just knowing about the characters, unfortunately, is not enough to tell if the book, movie, or TV show is worth reading or watching.