Sunday, May 8, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green tells the story of Miles, a teenager who is unsatisfied with his daily life and his "school friends." Thus, he decides to leave his dull life and go to a boarding school, Culver Creek. Once there, he meets his roommate, Chip, better known by his nickname: "The Colonel." The Colonel takes Miles to Alaska's room to buy some cigarettes. Now Alaska is pretty darn sexy, and Miles develops strong feelings for her throughout the entire story even with her moodiness and impulsiveness. A faster pace of life is provided for Miles as he Alaska, the Colonel, Takumi (another student), and Lara (another other student) play pranks, drink, and smoke themselves into oblivion. This continues at least until one faithful night. The Colonel, Alaska, and Miles are hanging out in a barn drinking and Miles begins to find out that Alaska may have feelings for him as well when she dares him to hook up with her. Unfortunately, Miles' romantic encounter with Alaska is cut short when she becomes very distressed and runs out of the barn and drives away in her car, completely wasted. The next day, news breaks to the school that Alaska died that night when she hit a police car. Miles and his friends are absolutely distraught. They search for evidence as to whether the death of Alaska was suicide or was indeed accidental. Her death forces Miles and his friends to face issues about life and death that they had never thought much about before. The book ends with a prank by Miles and his friends that is thought up by and dedicated to Alaska when a male stripper performs at a school assembly.

1) Miles leaves a stale life in his hometown behind in search of the "Great Perhaps" or the search for a better life full of risks. Would you remain in the safety and boredom, or would you take the risks of a better life?

2) Should it really matter to Miles whether Alaska's death was suicide or not, or should he accept it as death and nothing more?

23 comments:

Spencer P. 1-2 said...

1. I would rather take risks and have an exciting life. Like I always say, you only have one life to live, don't waste it.
2.Death is death and should not be viewed as a terrible thing. Celebrate life and remember the person for who they were, not how they died.

Megan M 1-2 said...

2. I agree with Spencer, that people should not focus on how a person died but they should remember the persons life. However I know that I would want to find out how a person died especially if they were very close to me.

Heather B. 1-2 said...

1.) I'm pretty sure I would rather have safety and boredom instead of taking risks that may or may not lead to a better life.

2.) I think it matters in the sense that Miles may never have closure until he knows the truth behind her death. However, he should also focus on the good times he had with her instead of her death when he remembers her.

Renae G. 1-2 said...

1. I would like to have an exciting and risky life but not if death is involved. It is nice to have fun once in a while but I would not want to die because of stupid actions.

Sevgim A.1-2 said...

2. Alaska's death should matter to Miles because he was there when she was drinking and he shouldn't have let her leave that drunk.

Laura P 7-8 said...

1.) I think depending on how boring my life actually was I would go out and take the risks, because if the risks don't work out I could always find my way back to my boring hometown.

Ashlyn W. 7-8 said...

2). I would also be wondering if the death was accidental or if it was suicide. Although I'd be wondering this, I'd want to remember the happy moments of the persons life.

Mia G. 1-2 said...

1. oh children, you know me, excitement all the way. for me, boredom is anxiety causing and stressful. i learned this through a personality test in psychology:)

2. its over and done, mouring over her would be the same whether the death was intentional or not. if he is curious, thats one thing, but she was wasted, it was obviously an accident either way. not intentional or if it was, shes dead, and deserves proper mourning over. yo. dog. diggity.

Leah K. 7-8 said...

1. I would take the risk of a better life because if that didn't work out then I know I tried and wouldn't regret not trying something new.
2. It should matter to him becuase he was with her at the time and should have taken better care of her if she was that drunk. He probably won't ever know if the death was suicide or not but he doesn't have to worry about it forever since he probably won't ever find out the truth.

Monica J. 1-2 said...

1. I wouolod take the risk of a new life.
2. He should never just exept death. He should try to beat the odds of Alaskan suicide.

Millie W. 7/8 said...

1) Carpe Diem! I would take the chances and adventure. If you don't do everything you want to in this life then really you've squandered it.

Lottie W. 7-8 said...

Maybe I am just too integrated into the life I have, but I honestly do not think I would take the risk of searching for a better life. No life is ever truly boring unless you make it that way. Personally, I think Miles could have made his life exciting right where he was. He just did not have the mentality to do it so he goes off to search for what he thinks is a 'better life.'

Kaitlyn K 7-8 said...

1) I would rather take the risks and live life to the fullest then stay in a boring life like his previous one.
2) To me it would matter. If it was suicide it would seem to me that they could have come to people for help but if it was murder then it would be hard to move on from.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

I noticed that most of you said that they would opt for the exciting risky life rather than the safe and stale life (including Monica, I think). I wonder if that's because we went through the whole romanticist movement earlier this year. Maybe there should be a literature movement promoting safety and elimination of risks from people's lives.

Hannah K. 1-2 said...

1) Miles had an exceedingly boring life, and no friends. I don't think there could be anything that would hold someone like that to their home, and I don't think there should be, because Culver Creek made him happier.
2. I think it should matter, because he wanted to know her as a person, and the answer to the question of her death would give him a lot of insight and maybe provide closure.

Sydney S. 1-2 said...

1. I would defenitally go and take the risks. If things got too dangerous, I could always go home and return to my boring lifestyle.

2. I think that it should matter to Miles. He let her leave after she had been drinking. However, he also shouldn't completely blame himself. He should try to remember all the good, happy times of her life instead of just focusing on her death.

Abby M. 1-2 said...

2. I think that figuring out why she died is a huge part of knowing who Alaska was. If it was just accidental that tells you that Alaska was someone who loved life and had a little too much fun, and her fast lifestyle led to her death. However, if it was suicide, this says something very different about Alaska and who she really was.

Jacob C. 1-2 said...

1. I would stay in safety. The risks aren't worth it.

2. I don't think it should matter, he should just accept it as death and move on.

Adam B. 7-8 said...

1. I would rather live in saftey and boredom rather than take potentially life threatening risks.

Sydney S. 1-2 said...

1. I would definitely take the risks. If things got too bad, I guess I could always go back to my boring life.

2. I think it should matter, but he shouldn't beat himself up about it. He should not have let her leave after she had been drinking. However, instead of just focusing on her death, he should try to remember all the good things in her life.

Hannah J. 7-8 said...

1. i would take the risks of a better life because even if i fail, then ill be able to say i did something with my life.
2. it should matter because if it was suicide then there was something wrong and something should have been changed.

Anna W. 1-2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna W. 1-2 said...

1. I think I would like to expand my life as much as possible and serch for my " Great Perhaps".

2. I have read this book, and I think it was important to Miles to find out about how Alaska died. Like Abby touched on, it makes a difference of her true character, and considering how Miles liked her. True, there is nothing good on how a person goes on about dying, but sometimes, it can make a difference to a person and change them like Miles.