John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska tells the story of Miles Halter, a shy teenager who transfers

1100 WordsApr 23, 20195 Pages
John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska tells the story of Miles Halter, a shy teenager who transfers to Culver Creek Boarding School for his junior year of high school, in search of the “Great Perhaps”. His roommate, Chip Martin, “The Colonel” takes Miles under his wing and nicknames him Pudge. Miles introduces him to the erratic lifestyle of smoking, drinking, pranks, and Alaska Young. Alaska Young is, witty, moody, beautiful, and self-destructive, and Pudge is attracted to her. When a few of the weekday warriors drag Pudge out of his bed, cover him in ductape and throw him in a lake, and urinated in the Colonel shoes. The Colonel promised himself to have revenge on them. The weekday warriors violated Pudge and urinated in Colonel’s…show more content…
That’s the whole point’” (54). Alaska knows that people are complex beyond anyone’s ability to understand. Pudge is devastated that he will never know Alaska’s last words (142), and that he would never know Alaska as he wanted to (212). He feels like someone who has lost his glasses and is told that there are no more glasses in the world, and he will “just have to do without” (144). Seeing represents knowing, and Pudge will never know the world through the filter of Alaska ever again. Ultimately, Pudge realizes that “we are greater than the sum of our parts,” and because energy can never be created nor destroyed, “that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail” (220-221). Another theme is that the labyrinth of suffering need not imprison us forever. Alaska is incapacitated by her human failures and collapses “into the enigma of herself” (219). But Pudge recognizes that “she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct” (220). Alaska never forgives herself for her mother’s death, and her guilt holds her captive. By forgiving himself for his part in Alaska’s death, Pudge finds hope, which lifts him out of the labyrinth of guilt and grief, so that he can catch a distant glimpse of the Great Perhaps. The first person narration, authentic teen language and countdown to the climactic event of

More about John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska tells the story of Miles Halter, a shy teenager who transfers

Open Document