I hate Hannah Horvath, because she is me.
I think I may be the voice of my generation.
Or at least a voice,
of a generation.
Sitting in front of her parents — high from opium tea — she shares her hopes and dreams, trying to prove to them that yes, she can write this book, she just needs some time and money.
Hannah Horvath is not wise beyond her years, she is not graceful, she is not the Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, or Marilyn Monroe trope most millennials praise. Hannah is selfish, child-like, and immature; she has too much hubris, and is stupid enough to do the things I am too afraid to do — and I envy her for that.
I would never, in a million years, go to my editor’s funeral and ask his widow, “Hey can you give me a list of other publishers so I can get my book published because your husband is dead?” Watching that scene mortified me. Her nonchalant attitude of my-editor-died-but-I’m-not-really-phased-by-it was a little disturbing to watch, and yet I knew that if I was in her situation, I would probably think the same thing — I just wouldn’t say it out loud.
“Feel sorry for me, something tragic happened!” “Oh my goodness are you okay?” “Oh yeah I’m totally fine, I mean it sucks that happened but it’s not a big deal or anything. I’m just really worried how this affects my career more than anything else.” It’s a mix of attention grabbing and self-preservation that enters into Hannah’s mind-set and I completely sympathized with her in that episode. I was also disgusted by her and hated her so much, because it was a reflection of what I think and what I would want to do (not necessarily actually do, but just think about doing).
Hannah Horvath is everything I want to encompass if I lived in a world with no ramifications or repercussions. She is my alter-ego. My dark, twisted other half. Her boss tells her to go outside the box? She goes on a coked-up rampage with her ex-boyfriend who’s gay. (I would have just walked 2 blocks to Starbucks instead of 1 block) She can’t handle the criticism from her peers in graduate school? She writes the most unapologetic, passive aggressive letter I have ever heard after letting them all have it in a drunken state of mind (whereas I would probably would have not said anything, ever, like at all). Breaking up with her boyfriend? She runs into a public bathroom, breaks up via text message, and when he confronts her she runs around in circles. It’s something a thirteen year old would do, and something I would secretly want to do, but I would hate myself if I went through with it.
Lena Dunham has created a character that I hate because it reminds me of what I wish I could do, of my darkest secrets, hopes, and dreams. I simultaneously hate and love Lena Dunham for creating something that I resonate so deeply with, and I want to see more.