17th October 2017

Looking for Alaska

In the book Looking for Alaska, John Green uses Alaska to illustrate how pain is romanticized.
In the book Looking for Alaska, Alaska is a deeply deeply sad person who often says depressing lines such as “you all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”
In the book, the character Alaska is seen by the main character, Miles “Pudge” Halter, not as a girl in immense pain but as beautiful. Her pain is romanticized. In the book, he thinks thoughts such as “I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating.” And “ In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla,” but not once does he stop to ask if she is okay. Her suicidal comments are dulled down or ignored.
When Alaska dies, Miles finally comes to the realisation that she was in immense pain and that it wasn’t beautiful. It was just sad. Her pain didn’t make her more interesting. It just hurt. Alaska’s death wasn’t a solution to anything. It was a tragedy. We didn’t get to see her death or the aftermath. Because death doesn’t fit with Alaska’s “beautiful” pain. Death is too real and she’d died in a car crash so her death would have been all the more graphic.

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