“Looking For Alaska” by John Green
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In the book Looking for Alaska written by John Green is a story about how main character Miles “Pudge” Halter moves from his hometown in Florida to go to a boarding school in Alabama called Culver Creek High School, there he meets his roommate Chip “The Colonel” Martin and his friends Alaska Young, Takumi Hikohito, and Lara Buterskaya. Throughout the novel Pudge tries and does things that he never thought he would do, he falls in love, makes friends, and also loses one friend. There is one event in the book that completely changes the story because of how unexpected this incident was.
This novel was written extremely well, but if I had the chance to ask John Green a question I would. In Looking For Alaska Miles “Pudge” Halter changes characters from the start of the novel to the end, one event changes the whole book, and if I had the chance to I would ask John Green a question. At the beginning of the book Miles “Pudge” Halter was a good boy with no friends, he had never smoked a cigarette, never drank alcohol in his life, and kept up with his schoolwork according to Green, “[…] 3. Alaska had cigarettes, although the Colonel neglected to ask whether 4. I smoked, which 5. I didn’t” (14). When he moved to Culver Creek High School his whole life changed he started smoking daily, drank sometimes, and his grades started dropping quickly “And when we ran out of cheese, well, all the more room for Strawberry Hill” (113). The event that brings the change in Pudge’s Paez 2
personality is trying to impress the girl he loves, whom loves to smoke and drink, and trying to keep the friends that he has. The climax of the book that changes everything is when Alaska Young dies. In the instant when she left that night while she was drunk, the book had already changed without her death even being certified “‘I forgot! God how many times can I fuck up?’ she said. I didn’t even have time to wonder what she forgot before she screamed, ‘I JUST HAVE TO GO. HELP ME GET OUT OF HERE!’” (Green 132). After her death Pudge, The Colonel, Takumi, and Lara were not the same all they wanted to do was figure out why she possibly killed herself or how she died. Pudge and The Colonel both thought it was their fault for letting her drive while she was drunk and not stopping her from going to wherever she was going “‘Yeah, I know we should have stopped her, damn it. I am shit sure keenly aware that we should have stopped her. But we shouldn’t have had to.
You had to watch her like a three-year-old. You do one thing wrong and she just dies’” (Green 145). Pudge, Colonel, Takumi, and Lara had some theories on why Alaska might have wanted to kill herself the theory that seemed most correct was the one about her mother “ ‘[…] Or, she gets into the car with the flowers. But she’s already missed the anniversary. She’s probably […] she sees the cop car and there’s her chance and she just floors it’” (Green 211). This event caused for frustration, anger, guilt, and sadness for every character that was trying to understand why she might have killed herself. If I had the chance to ask John Green a question or tell him something I would ask him two questions and give him a comment something to him. My first question would be “Why did you have Alaska name herself Alaska when she was a child?”
In the book it explains how she came to have that name “So when I was little, they called me Mary. I mean, they called me […] so I picked Alaska” (Green 53) but I want to know why he chose that name for her to pick. My second question would be “Why did you chose to have Alaska kill herself or be in a car accident instead of any other character?” The last thing I would say to him would be that I commend him for his incredible writing skills and use of literary languages like foreshadowing, metaphors, and ironies; also that this was one of the most amazing books I have ever read in my life. Miles “Pudge” Halter was a good boy with good grades until he moved to Culver Creek and his new friends corrupted him into a completely new person who smokes and drinks and only gives 60% effort towards school. The most important event in this book was Alaska Young’s death, after her death nothing and no one was ever the same. John Green is an extremely good writer, but there still are question that need to be asked about this book. According to Green, “‘After all this time, it still seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out–but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it’” (216).