Elliot Rodger handwritten journals
Elliot Rodger kept two neatly handwritten journals in the last four years of his life: one from 2009 to 16/3/2011, and one from 31/3/2011 to 23/5/2014, just one hour before he began his massacre. The first is 84 pages long, while the second is 114 pages and much denser. Along with My Twisted World, they serve as autobiographical records of Elliot’s life. In his journals, he writes more genuinely and intimately than in his “manifesto”, emphasising in them his feelings of sadness and loneliness as opposed to the resentfulness and envy that are more prominent in his manifesto.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Elliot claims at the end of his first journal that he had started it in 2009, but “tore out and discarded the 2009 pages because they were too full of anger and hate”. His first extant entry is from 5 April 2010. On the title page, he wrote “This journal is merely a collection of my notes and thoughts.”
April 2010[edit | edit source]
On the 21st, Elliot laments that his 19th birthday is close. He reminisces the day he arrived in America 14 years before, asking “What went wrong?”. Two days later, he writes a very poetic metaphor about a “storm of fury” racking him with pain “like a storm damages land and forest”, but offers no context behind it.
June 2010[edit | edit source]
On the 19th, Elliot gets a haircut. He flashbacks to 5 years before, when he started puberty. Girls were “cold and bitchy” towards him, so, when he began wanting them at the onset of puberty, he “knew that couldn’t be”. His description of childhood bullying is very expressive, and honestly better to just read directly than from here. 6 days later, he vents about Moorpark College and the course he just started there. Seeing couples everywhere around him, who “seem to notice my envy and smile at me” fills him with hopelessness. He considers becoming a writer, but after reading on the internet about how difficult it is to make money like that, he gives up and feels even more hopeless.
July 2010[edit | edit source]
Elliot reminisces an incident from November 2009, on which a man named Addison called him a loser as he exited his friend Philip’s car to go to a party. He recalls “That night I was so distraught that had my first cigarette, and it wouldn’t be my last”. After several days, he considers hiring a prostitute, but ultimately decides against it, saying “The whole pleasure of sex would be a girl’s desire for me… but that is something I cannot buy from a whore.”
January 2011[edit | edit source]
He begins by regretting all the time he spent playing World of Warcraft in the past months, then, as usual, vents about his envy of “teenagers who have sex lives”. At the beginning of the new semester, Elliot relatably proclaims every day is the same at university: “sit in class, listen to the lecture, and then drive home”. Afraid that he only has 200 days left as a teenager, he plans to rapidly self-improve so he can lose his virginity before then. He also talks about his family, insulting his father and praising his little brother Jazz.
Later that month, Elliot begins reading The Secret, a book essentially stating that you can make anything happen by wishing for it. Initially sceptical, Elliot claims that he desperate enough to try it anyway, and soon exclaims “I have utter faith in the Law of Attraction now. I believe in it with all my heart. I know it is true. It explains everything.” It does make him feel more confident temporarily, but of course it doesn’t work and, as he comes to terms with this, he is devastated.
February 2011[edit | edit source]
Elliot is depressed over his “intense skepticism” of the Law of Attraction, suddenly feeling helpless again. Bitter over the time he wasted on video games, he deletes all games from his laptop (World of Warcraft, Warcraft III, and Starcraft II) and tucks all his Xbox 360 game boxes in his closet, vowing to “not play any video games until I have lived a very satisfying life full of sex and love.” He then states that he will go back on this vow if he gives up all hope, but refuses to entertain that possibility. On the 18th, he notably rejects the pills his doctor gave him, stating that their side effects make him drowsy and tired and give him headaches. That month, he writes much more positively than he generally does, full of hope in his self-improvement.
March 2011[edit | edit source]
Elliot feels that still living in his mother’s house is holding him back, but complains that he needs money to move out and that he cannot earn any. He refuses to “work a low-life labor job”, stating that it would destroy his already-low self esteem and not even give him enough money to move out. He slowly loses the hope he gained the past month, but still attempts to think positively.
April 2011[edit | edit source]
By now, he has lost all hope of getting a girlfriend before he turns twenty. Elliot rants about his sister, ostensibly after a fight they had (although he gives no context), and celebrates the release date of A Dance with Dragons being announced. Its release date is July 12, “dangerously close” to Elliot’s birthday in July 24, so he uses the countdown on the book’s website as a countdown of his “last days as a teenager”. He practices writing and claims to “go to the gym every single day now, for the last three months”, but is disappointed by his lack of progress.
May 2011[edit | edit source]
Deeply depressed, Elliot (as usual) rants about feeling inferior to the couples he sees in public and about how women willingly give their attention to other men but treat him like scum. He considers moving to another college, but fears that he will be excluded there too.
June 2011[edit | edit source]
Elliot moves to Santa Barbara City College, and leaves his mother’s house to live in Isla Vista. In one of his two classes, history, there were hot girls in his class who “talked to the other guys in the class” but not him. Frustrated at watching the guys “casually flirt” with them, he drops it after only two days.
July 2011[edit | edit source]
Despite living in a college town for a month, Elliot is still lonely. “Every night I walk around the town alone or sit in cafes/restarants, (sic) hoping someone would talk to me, but no one has the heart to reach out!” Much to his horror, he turns 20 while still a virgin.
September 2011[edit | edit source]
Elliot does “the unthinkable” by playing World of Warcraft again, despite quitting it twice, hoping “to escape from this sick world”. He moves into a new unit after getting annoyed by his old flatmates, this time with a new flatmate named Spencer, who he begins to hate “just because he is there to witness me in my shame!”
November 2011[edit | edit source]
Elliot surprisingly makes two new friends: Andy and Stan. He also plays WoW with an old friend, James, but after scaring James away with his dictatorial fantasy, Elliot quits the game a third time. He later reconciles with James at a Thanksgiving dinner, but fears that “the kind of friendship we used to have is gone forever.”