LOOKING FOR ALASKA’S THEME AT A GLANCE
John Green is a renowned young adult author, and his first book is “Looking for Alaska,” published in 2005. The book comprised of various themes related to human life such as friendship, affection, life, lies, deceits and mortality. In the following, the primary theme of “Looking for Alaska” i.e. “the way of living and die” is analyzed. The title of this book that includes the term “Looking” elucidates the significance of searching, it is highlighted throughout the book that it is the seeking that matters.
“I must talk, and you must listen, for we are engaged here in the most important pursuit in history: the search for meaning. What is the nature of being a person? What is the best way to go about being a person? How did we come to be, and what will become of us when we are no longer? In short: What are the rules of this game, and how might we best play it?”(Green, 89)
The leading protagonists Miles Halter and Alaska Young, the both, are intrinsically tending to the searching for meanings. Miles used to memorize the final words of people as they assist him to comprehend the way those people spent their lives.
“But a lot of times, people die how they live, and so last words tell me a lot about who people were, and why they became the sort of individuals biographies get written about.”(Green, 366)
On the other hand, Alaska is fond of reading the poetry from her Life’s annals and memorizes them, as it allows her to know the words to express her emotions.
“François Rabelais. He was this poet. And his last words were ‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps.’ That’s why I am going. So I do not have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.” (Green, 10)
In the search for the ways of living and dying, Miles takes the classes of The Old Man’s world Religions that augments his perception. The class helps him to discover the diversity of civilizations and beliefs and gives the answer to the life’s most crucial questions. The answer to the biggest question of Alaska’s life is referred as the “Straight and fast, ” and with the help of this search, she wants to evade from “Labyrinth of Sufferings” in a most expedient manner. (Green, 50)
“That is the mystery, is not it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to evade the world or the end of it” (Green, 51)
When Alaska passes away, the concern of Miles toward the “how to live and die” becomes more enhanced and intensified. The death of Alaska provides a practical implication for the theories of Miles. But the case is not that simple, as by escaping her labyrinth she produces a whole new maze for Miles. The mold of gloom and sorrow make him get lost in a complicated world. In this newly created maze, he feels a desire to looking for answers and to stay away from them at the same time. The reality that Alaska opts to give up on her life by committing suicide makes Miles feel more distress and sad. But eventually, he chooses to forgive Alaska and himself as well, and he opts to move ahead and seeks the “Great Perhaps” of his life. (Green, 294) From the way Alaska lived and died, Miles learns that it is the vagueness of life that makes a worth-living.
Green, John. Looking for Alaska. Farmington Hills, Mich: Large Print Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.