Sunday, March 27, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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.

11 comments:

Sydney S. 1-2 said...

1. I agree with Pudge's view. You should try to forgive and forget in order to move on in life. However, if something really bad happened to me like what happened to Alaska, I might agree with her. The pain of the situation would be really overwhelming. I wouldn't want to kill myself, but I definately wouldn't forgive myself and forget it.

2. I'm not really sure if I agree with it. I think its kind of creepy. Hearing someone's last words would be terrifying and horrible, and I really don't think that I'd be paying attention to their "true character" at a time like that. Even reading about them in books (like I assume Pudge does) is kind of creepy too.

Spencer P. 1-2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spencer P. 1-2 said...

1. I believe in forgiving and forgetting. The past is over with and you cannot change that, but you can control the future.
2.This is the case unless people plan their last words.Someones last words are the very last thing they want the world to know, when they speak them they know that there will be no consequences that they will have to live to see.

Sevgim A.1-2 said...

2. I think a person's last words show their true character. It shows what they're thinking about right before they're gone.

Hannah K. 1-2 said...

1. I agree with Pudge, because holding on to the past will only create problems. People need to forgive in order to get over the past and go forward.
2. In most cases, I don't think I agree. I person can hardly be summed up in a sentence or two, especially when that sentence could not have seemed important at all at the time.

Rafiq O. 1-2 said...

I agree with Pudge. Alska's way is too pessimistic and kinda creepy. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

2.) Yeah, I agree. I think that people will be more honest when they're living their final moments. I guess it's just human nature.

Heather B. 1-2 said...

1.) I agree with Pudge that only allowing yourself to live will mean being free. If a person dies while still suffering because of guilt, that person has never had the change to live freely.

2.) I do not agree. I think people's actions through their lives determines true character.

Jacob C. 1-2 said...

1. I agree with Pudge. It is important to forgive others, and forget the regrets and move forward in your life.

2. I do think that people's last words reveal their character. When a person is dying, I think they forget about everything else and just become their true selves.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Graded

Mia G. 1-2 said...

1. i dont know whether i agree or disagree persay. i dont believe in regrets at all. i believe everything you do has lead you to where you are and you are supposed to be there. nothing is ever a mistake.
2. disagree completely. thats not who they are. thats the state they where in when they where dying.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread closed.