An Analysis of 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green

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Looking for Alaska is a book about a boy named Miles that goes away to a private school called Culver Creek were he meets a group of friends that he starts to hang out with throughout the year. He becomes very good friends with everyone and they begin to let him in on their secret spot called "the smoking hole", where they all smoke their cigarettes without getting in trouble. Soon he starts to get a crush on a girl named Alaska, which seems to already have a boyfriend. As soon as Miles starts to fall in love with her a horrible thing happens. Alaska dies in a terrible car accident, which turns into a very mysterious and confusing death. When Miles and the other boys get the news, they start fighting to find out the truth on what really happened. After reading this novel, one is left with the question, "How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?" Over the course of the novel, Green's characters set out to answer this problem. While the problem is catalyzed by Alaska, she doesn't answer the question alone. Indeed, after her death (accident? suicide?), Pudge and the Colonel are left alone to try and answer the question for themselves. However, before Alaska goes, she does leave some clues as to what she believes the labyrinth is, and how she thinks you have to escape. " 'It's not life or death, the labyrinth" [said Alaska]. 'Um, okay. So what is it?' [said Pudge]. 'Suffering,' she said. 'Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem.
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