Teenage Wasteland Essay Research Paper The book

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Teenage Wasteland Essay, Research Paper The book Teenage Wasteland, by Donna Gaines ventures into the heart of a small suburban town in New Jersey to find out what the real sociological reasons were behind a suicide pact between four teenagers. The story made headlines across the country and the ideas behind the story were socially constructed through media and other areas of society. What was originally said in headlines as a reason that these teens did commit suicide were mental problems, drugs and alcohol. Author Donna Gaines looked deeper into what really happened. This was a completely different approach than what others did to construct what happened and why. Gaines looked at these suicides on a much broader level than most. ?From the beginning, I believed that the

Bergenfield suicides symbolized a tragic defeat for young people? she writes. This was much more than just the lives of teens in Bergenfield, but everywhere else kids were getting blamed and labeled. What Gaines did to look into the heart of the real problem was much more valid than any other way anyone has researched what happened. Was this truly the best way to discover what really happened to these kids that could cause them to react in such an unusual manner? Author Donna Gaines starts out by remembering her life as a teenager and how it was for her. She remembers what life was like in her teenage years and how it was for her. Gaines talks about being a young adult started after recovering from her average teenage life of drugs, family problems, and problems with the law like

most other teens go through. She then tried to help out kids that had problems like she did. She first worked as a big sister for troubled kids in a junior high school. Then Gaines worked on a suicide-prevention hot-line. Eventually she became a social worker and did a lot of work to help out troubled teens and such dealing with abuse and welfare problems. Eventually she went back to her home town and worked as a ?street worker.? She would work the streets of the town helping the kids out in rough times when they needed her under their terms. ?We were there for the kids-like an older friend there to walk them through their wasted years.? As a street worker she would talk with teenagers that had problems and had no where to turn but for help. Since she was young and had

experience, she was the most comfortable and best place for these troubled teens to go to. When she went into Bergenfield, she already had an idea of what might be the reality of the situation. She knew how hard it was for kids to mix into society well. Teens are too old to be kids and too young to be adults, so they?re trapped in this space for long enough to have serious problems. All of her past has a major affect on how she reacts towards the situations and how she settles in with the teens of Bergenfield. Of course, everyone was a teen once, but Gaines? personal experiences as a teen and how she personally overcame her situations help her to look deep into the facts and lives of the ?burn-outs? in this town and any other normal suburban town. Gaines originally starts out

investigating the suicide pact by assignment. She was already perfect for the job and her editor knew that. What she was concerned about was getting into people?s business and gaining their trust just to tell about it. She wanted to get more serious than just by writing about these kids. She wanted to be a part of their lives and defend their rights as kids so every other teen can be however they want without being put down like the teens of Bergenfield. However, she firmly believes in the ?rights of the researched.? No real names and descriptions would be used in describing these events she goes through. All that would be similar are stories told and ideas she had and wrote about. Her mind was set to go and make a difference, no matter what she had to sacrifice to correct the