Looking for Alaska by John Green is a novel featured around three teenagers in a boarding school. Miles Halter is fascinated by people’s last words and goes to this boarding school in Alabama to search for his “Great Perhaps”. His roommate is Chip Martin who is nicknamed the Colonel due to his genius. Miles is called “Pudge” by the Colonel which is ironic due to his skinny and scrawny figure. Alaska is introduced to Miles by Colonel. Pudge instantly falls in love with her. She is beautiful and is rebellious. The Colonel and Alaska introduce Pudge to their mischievous behavior of drinking, partying, smoking, and playing pranks on campus. They pull a prank one day of war against the privileged kids in school, and after this they all hide out in a barn to play a drinking game. When they were playing this game, Alaska reveals a deep hidden secret that has been haunting her. When Alaska was 8, she watched her mother die of an aneurysm and to scared of what to do, she didn’t call for help. Right then, Pudge understood the real reason "And when she said she failed everyone, I knew whom she meant. It was the everything and the everyone of her life" (120). Alaska certainly blames herself for her mom’s death. While they are all drunk from playing this truth and dare game, Alaska falls asleep and is woken up by a phone call. She is severely distraught over this phone call and must go somewhere. Without thinking, Colonel and Pudge distract the dean so Alaska can leave. However, Alaska is very intoxicated when she leaves.
The next day, the dean announces Alaska has been killed in a car accident. Colonel and Pudge are deeply shocked and sad about their friend’s death. They are also angry they let it happen. Pudge admits to himself, "That night I let her go because she told me to. It was that simple for me and that stupid" (149). Pudge and the Colonel look to find the true cause of Alaska’s mystery death. Pudge and Colonel pull a last prank in her honor, and when they do, Pudge discovers something about his “ Great Perhaps” and the answer to end suffering in life.
1.Pudge and Alska have different meanings of escaping. Alaska symbolizes her view of ending suffering is going through death in a straight and fast way with the last words of Simón Bolívar: "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" While Pudge thinks you must forgive to live and forget about regrets. Which one do you agree with and why?
2. Pudge is deeply fascinated by people's last words and what they say in their final moments reveals their true character. Do you agree? Explain.