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Looking For Alaska by John Green

Introduction to characters, author, themes,narration
by

Dana Linde

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Looking For Alaska by John Green

"I go to seek a Great Perhaps" Looking For Alaska Miles Halter is a looking for a new way to live life. He is desperately trying to fit in.
"My thin arms didn't seem to get much bigger as they moved from wrist to shoulders. My chest lacked any hint of either fat or muscle, and I felt EMBARRASSED and wondered if something could be done about the mirror".
He is seeking a Great Perhaps, or an adventure. What he needs is to get away from the emptiness of his everyday life and experience something out of the ordinary. He believes that the Culver Creek private school has what he seeks. When he arrives there, his life is changed forever when he makes his first new friends. Before "You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it some day, and how awesome it will be ,and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present." "I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn't bear not to." 'Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die"-Alaska "The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive." "We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken." "If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." Along the way, Miles (Pudge) falls in love with Alaska and gets more and more attached to her, and his growing idea of her. She is everything he isn't. Alaska is crazy, smart, funny, reckless, damaged, mischievous, moody, and unpredictable. "Thomas Edison's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful." Pudge realizes that people are truly invincible and the key to the labyrinth is forgiveness and moving on. There is a part of you that can never be erased or destroyed. The labyrinth is not life or death. It's pain. The only way to overcome it is to forgive and accept. Pudge has to forgive himself, her, his friends, and the world.
There are some things that we cannot foresee, and we certainly can't change the past. No amount of wishing, searching, or blaming can fix things; it is something we alone must defeat in our heads. The teenage experience is about taking risks, following your heart, living life to the fullest, and learning about the world and other people. The most important thing is to learn about yourself in the process.
Pudge sees it as a labyrinth of suffering, and that helps him grasp the ideas and realities of life, death, belief, and pain. The labyrinth can be full of maybes, chances, and unexpected consequences. It is up to you to go and search for your own Great Perhaps. Pudge is enlightened with the concept of life and death. He finally understands religion and takes on a whole new perspective of the human experience. "We are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be." Written by John Green John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages. Green’s book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Booklist, a wonderful book review journal where he worked as a publishing assistant and production editor while writing Looking for Alaska. Green grew up in Orlando, Florida before attending Indian Springs School and then Kenyon College. john Green is married with one son. He now lives in New York. SETTING Miles travels from Florida to Culver Creek. Culver Creek Florida was plenty hot, certainly, and humid, too. This did not prepare me for the unique sort of heat that one encounters fifteen miles south of Birmingham, Alabama, at Culver Creek Prepatory School." (6) "The nice thing about the constant threat of expulsion at Culver Creek is that it lends excitement to every moment of illicit pleasure. The bad thing, of course, is that there is always the possibility of expulsion." CHARACTERS Miles 'Pudge' Halter bored with playing it safe
annoyed with lack of friends
ironically nicknamed
reads biographies to memorize last words
scrawny
friendless basically innocent
soft-spoken 16-year-old The Colonel CHIP MARTIN Pudge's roommate
scholarship student- smart
protective
honest "NO ratting out others"
loves his mother
hates sports
hates weekday warriors- rich kids
mischievious -great prankster
short Alaska Young beautiful
intelligent- also a scholarship student
loves reading
troubled
frustrating
traumatized
basically disowned
great prankster
tries to be faithful to her boyfriend
Obsessed with Gabriel Garcia Marquez "How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" (19) "She told me that I reminded her of the Colonel when he came to Culver Creek. They were freshmen together, she said, both scholarship kids with, as she put it, ' a shared interest in booze and mischief.' (20) "But I'm going to read them all. I call it my Life's Library. Every summer since I was little, I've gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting." (20) "THAT WHICH THE SEA BREAKS AGAINST" Lara Pudge's girlfriend for
a short time
foreign- Romanian
soft-spoken
corrupted Takumi Hikohito Japanese
Intelligent
Touchy
Withholds information
Troublesome Rich
Weekday Warrior
Mean
Initiation Keith Made a "truce" The Eagle Mr. Starnes
Dean
Distracted during pranks
Enforcer
Attached to the kids POINT OF VIEW 1st person "It wasn't the first time Alaska had left me [Pudge] out of the loop, certainly, but after we'd been together so much over Thanksgiving, it seemed ridiculous to plan the prank with the Colonel but without me" (99). Themes coming of age
risk-taking
high school vs boarding school
self-discovery
drugs and alcohol
loss
pranks and hazing and bulllying
cliques
religion and the afterlife Watch for the following symbols and motifs: labyrinths/mazes
famous last words
smoking
white flowers
the Great Perhaps smoke/smoking
mazes/labyrinths
famous last words
white flowers
the Great Perhaps
Full transcript