Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green


Rise by tomfrancismusic
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Setting: Culver Creek

Main characters

Miles (Pudge)

Pudge came to the boarding school because he wanted to find the "Great Perhaps". In reality at his old high school, he didn't have friends and just wanted a new start.

"So this guy," I said, standing in the doorway of the living room. "Francois Rabelais. He was this poet. And his last words were 'I go to see a Great Perhaps.' That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps." The reason Pudge quoted famous peoples' last words was because he was fascinated with it. He was a very intelligent kid.

When he came to boarding school he got bunked with a guy named "The Colonel" who was friends with Alaska. Pudge started to have a crush on Alaska but Alaska had a boyfriend.

Alaska Young

Alaska came to boarding school every year. She was depressed but didn't show it in obvious way. Only the people that were closest to her got a hint of her sadness. She was still very complicated, and didn't seem to have any emotions at times. She was big into drinking and smoking away the pain. The reason Alaska thought she was so screwed up was because she watched her mother die and she blamed herself. "Little kids can dial 911. They do it all the time. Give me the wine," she said, deadpan and emotionless. (2before.72) One night she got really drunk with Pudge and The Colonel. Pudge and Alaska made out and had an intimate moment. She got up in a rush, freaked out and left. The boys found out later that she got in a car accident and died. They made it their mission to found out why she HAD to leave all of a sudden.

The Colonel (Chip)

The Colonel comes from a poor mother, and no father. His mother kicked out his father for being abusive. He still has crazy amounts of confidence. He wasn't embarrassed of his mom at all. He was just scared that we would act like condescending boarding-school snobs.(47before.33) Alaska and The Colonel bond over not having a parent around.

The Colonel and Alaska are the brains for the pranking between them and the Warriors. The reason The Colonel doesn't like the Warriors is because they are rich and snobby. They had everything he didn't.

Minor Characters

Takumi- He was a fellow student and a fellow friend. Pudge and The Colonel ignored him once Alaska died because they pushed everyone away. "I'm tired of you acting like you were the only guy who ever wanted her. Like you had some monopoly on liking her." (29after.9) Pudge and The Colonel didn't realize that there were other's struggling with her death too. Takumi saw Alaska the night of her death too and didn't stop her from driving away drunk just like the boys. He has to live with that guilt too. "I don't know what I was thinking. So I let her go, too. And I'm sorry. I know you loved her. It was hard not to." (136after.6-7)

Lara- Lara was a fellow student and she was just a distraction for Pudge. Alaska set them up because she felt that Pudge needed a girlfriend. Lara was a distraction from feelings he felt for Alaska because Alaska had a boyfriend.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist was Pudge and the Antagonist was Death. Throughout the whole book we rooted for Pudge and Alaska to get together. We hoped that Alaska would realize that Pudge would open her eyes to a new world and help her not be so depressed. That they would fall in love and she would dump her boyfriend. Then, the antagonist, depression/death/grief, took Alaska away. Pudge had to deal with that. He had to deal with losing the love of his life. He had to deal with the guilt.


The biggest themes were friendship, depression,mortality, and love. The whole reason Pudge leaves Florida was because he didn't have friends. Once he got to Culver Creek he immediately made friends. They went through everything together. Once Alaska dies, it creates an even stronger bond. For depression, this one revolves mostly around Alaska. Alaska shared some deep secrets with everyone the night of the barn. The reason she went driving drunk was because she was so depressed. The conspiracy is that she wanted to die. After Alaska dies, the boys really think about what mortality means. As in a physical sense and a spiritual sense. Even though you could find death in pretty much each page, with death there is in sense another life waiting for us and hope. Love was an obvious theme. Pudge loves Alaska and even though he tries to distract those feelings and goes after Lara, it wasn't the same. Right before Alaska died he finally got to go after those feelings for Alaska and make a move. I bet it was amazing for him. But was she just screwing with his feelings and being a flirt?

Alaska Young's Funeral

Saturday, Jan. 17th, 8am

Funeral Home, Vine Station Alabama


Character VS. Character: Colonel, Pudge.. and toward the end Takumi are all trying to figure out how and why Alaska died. They are determined to find answers.

Character VS. Self: Pudge throughtout the story is trying to find his true identity. In the beginning, he starts off as Miles, and when he starts attending Culver Creek High School he is now Pudge. He starts drinking alcohol, smoking. After the death of Alaska, he finally finds the real him. The struggle to find who he is, is a character vs. self conflict. (The Great Perhaps) Another Character VS. Self is Alaska facing herself because she is facing depression. Whether the accident is an actual accident or whether she tried to kill herself.. depression won.


In the end it took the boys a long time to recover from Alaska's death. They went ignored people and pushed the others away. But then realized what idiots they were being. And it brought the group closer together. In the end, Pudge and The Colonel are at peace with Alaska's death, knowing that they will never fully understand her, but that her memory will continue in the people she influenced.