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Analysis of John Green's 'Looking for Alaska'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1219 words Published: 28th Sep 2017

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Looking for Alaska


“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” John Green, the author of Looking for Alaska, writes a story about a group of young adults, where we see how love and friendship are special and how life can vanish in a moment. This book shows how sometimes adults just do not understand or do not see how big situations are for teenagers. Adults think that teenagers think they are invisible which somehow it is true teenagers do feel like they are invisible, but there is a big picture in all this. Teenagers will always have friends that are always there for them. There will be always that someone that helps them go on and that is when friendship and live comes in. Life is a puzzle is a “labyrinth” and everyone has to find their way out by themselves before life is gone. The young adult novel represents a combination of genres. It has romance, mystery, and adventures and this is thanks to how the characters in the story live this crazy and adventurous experiences.


Miles Halter is a young adult who is fascinated by famous last words. Miles leaves his family in Florida to start boarding school in Alabama. Miles goes to Culver Creek to seek a “Great Perhaps” which are the last words of his favorite poet before he died referring to find the path of success. At Culver Creek, Miles start a very strong friendship with his roommate Chip. Chip introduces Miles to his other two very close friends, Alaska and Takumi. Miles in company of Alaska, Chip and Takumi experience crazy adventures. One day Miles, Chip and Alaska got really drunk. Couple days later the school receives the news; Alaska had a car accident and she died. Now Miles and Chip are set to investigate to know what really happened and if Alaska’s death was intentional in her own way to get out of the “labyrinth”. At last Miles and Chip never get to know what really happened in that accident but they understood that the only way out of the “labyrinth” of life and suffering is to forgive themselves which was what Alaska had left them after her death. Boarding school was over, Chip got ready to leave for vacation with his mother and Miles as well. Miles went home for vacation but he never forgot the message Alaska tried to make him understand about how to get out of the “labyrinth”.

Character analysis:

Alaska is one of the main characters of the story. She becomes a mystery to her friends and to the readers when she dies. Alaska has this bipolar type of personality; she is funny, crazy, and mysterious, and she can sometimes be rude and mean but most of all she is very smart. Alaska has been tormented since her mother died when she was little, somehow Alaska feels guilty for her mothers’ death. “She had fallen over. She was lying on the floor, holding her head and jerking. And I freaked out. I should have called 911, but I just started screaming and crying until she finally stopped jerking.” Even though Alaska has lived a very tough past, she is still very happy and energetic; or maybe that is just how she wants others to see her. Alaska is the type of person that can be having fun one day and the next one she is totally other person by being mean and rude. “I’m really not up for answering any questions that start with how, when, where, why, or what.” Alaska is really pretty or maybe is just Miles making her look good. “And now is as good a time as any to say she was beautiful…I could see her eyes-fierce emeralds…And not just beautiful, but hot, too, with her breast straining against her tight tank top, her curved legs swinging back and forth beneath the swing.” Throughout the story Alaska changes a lot. She evolves from being a confident and strong girl to a very confused and depressive one. After remembering what happened to her mother, she cannot stand the guilt she feels and she becomes a cold person. Alaska dies in the story and that is when the mystery comes since she left everything to be continued. “‘This is so fun’ she whispered, ‘but I’m so sleepy. To be continued?’” Alaska always thought of life as a labyrinth of suffering and she wanted to know what the way out of it was. She discovers that her only way out of the “labyrinth” of suffering was to forgive. Alaska had to forgive herself for what happened to her mother and top getting all the guilt of something she did not do.

Analysis and Evaluation:

In this book John Green was trying to tell how he sees the real world in a teen fiction story. John was trying to introduce the reader into the “labyrinth of life” and persuade us to look for our own “Great Perhaps” (purpose in life). John did a pretty good job gathering us into the labyrinth and making us think about what we really want. He hides the real meaning; his thoughts about what he really thinks about life in the story. He created a story that could be easily enjoyed by everyone that reads the book and still has the result he wanted. Reading the book was very worth it. Now I have a different perspective of life. How I see life now is as a game, a challenge, a puzzle and if I find the way to win the game, surpass the challenge or solve the puzzle life will have a reward for me. If I find what I am here for I will be successful. As a reader of Looking for Alaska, I would totally recommend it to other readers. I might not be an expert of books but of all the books I have read this book totally goes into my favorite ones. The book supports many of my beliefs and way of thinking about certain things. One of the things that the book supports me on is about affection and love. “If you must express affection, I always felt, you should do it”. This quote really got to me because that is the exact same thing I always says about someone who says that loves somebody else. If someone truly loves someone else the person has to show their affection to the other person. Another thing that the book and I have the same thought is about fighting for what we really want. “‘Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war.’” This quote caught my attention because this is actually a very general way of thinking and many people might think this way too. But I liked this quote because it reminded me of times when I could not do something and then I remembered what my parents always told me, similar to the quote, that sometimes in life you will lose some battles but if you work enough you could win the war and be successful.


Looking for Alaska is a really good book. The book has a pretty interesting story. Even though there were parts in the book that seemed that something was missing it was kid of the purpose; leaving the reader thinking about what was the next event. The author introduced the readers into this new perspective of life. Just how Miles understood the way out of the “labyrinth of life” everyone has to find their own way out. Also besides finding the way out of the labyrinth people have to find their purpose in life so they no longer live this life full of emptiness asking themselves what they are missing.


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