Looking For Alaska

IR Book Project

Summary

Miles, tired of his friendless, dull life in Florida, convinces his parents to send him away to boarding school in Alabama so that he can seek "the Great Perhaps." There he meets his roommate and soon-to-be best friend, Chip, called the Colonel, and Alaska Young, the moody, gorgeous, wild girl who instantly becomes the object of his affection. Miles is quickly enlisted in their war against the Weekday Warriors, the rich kids who go home every weekend, and they bond over elaborate pranks, studying, and assorted rule-breaking. About halfway through the book a tragedy occurs, and those left spend the rest of the book trying to make sense of it, to solve the mystery it leaves behind, and to pull off one last, greatest-ever prank.

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Characters

  • Miles; New student at Culver Creek
  • Chip who is better known as the colonel
  • Alaska who is the beautiful young girl
  • Tyler who is one of the minor characters in the book but best friends with Alaska, the colonel, and Miles.
  • Mr.Starnes who is better known as the Eagle; principal of culver creek


Exposition

In the starting point of the exposition, Miles lives in Florida and he persuades his parents to let him go to boarding school in Alabama. He believes the only reason he was able to attend Culver Creek was simply because his dad had his education from there as well. When Miles arrives at Culver Creek he takes endless loads of luggage to his dorm room, trip after trip after trip. Finally, Miles had moved all his things into his dorm room. After everything was moved in he unpacked.


Rising Action

In the rising action of the story it starts with Chip and Miles becoming friends. Chip is Miles roommate and soon to be best friend. After getting unpacked, the colonel takes Miles to Alaska's room. They sat and talked for a while and eventually made it back to their own room. Next Miles, Alaska, Chip, and Tyler make poor decisions causing them to go to court. Further into the book it becomes Thanksgiving time, and Alaska's mother died 2 years ago therefore she is unable to go home for Thanksgiving. She asks Miles to stay on campus with her over the break, and he did. While they stayed on campus over break the Colonel went home to his moms house. The Colonel's mom found out that Miles and Alaska were homeless for Thanksgiving and decided to have them join for Thanksgiving break. After Thanksgiving break Alaska, the colonel, Tyler, and Miles camped out in the woods after pulling a minor prank before the big Junior year prank Alaska had planned.


Climax

It was around 2 in the morning and Alaska came into Chip and Miles room. She was sobbing inconsolably, no one was able to comfort her in the way they always have before when she's acted up. She came in the room and told them she had to go, that she needed them to help her get off of campus. She needed them to distract the Eagle , so they did. Chip and Miles grabbed the three strings of left over firecrackers from beneath the sink, and ran to the Eagle's house. The Eagle tore out of his house as soon as the first string of firecrackers started popping, he was waiting for them. They headed for the woods and got him in deeply enough that he never heard her drive away. Chip and Miles then waded through the creek to save time, slipped in through the back window of room 43, and slept like babies.


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Characterization

Miles never really fit in with his hometown, he always felt as though his life was much unfulfilled. In the beginning of the book Miles discusses a poem that has the words "Great Perhaps". This becomes the theme of Miles throughout the book. As Chip would say, " Miles is a gawky kid, somewhat nerdy, and unsocial." When he meets his new friends at Culver Creek, he becomes the kind of person he wanted to be all along. Thomas Edison's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." "I didn't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful." As you read the book Miles slowly unravels his innocence as he hangs out with Chip.



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Theme

I think that there could be a few different themes to this story, depending on the point of view. But the theme that stood out to me and that I understood was that not all teenagers can be like the Weekday Warriors. Not everyone has a big house to go to on the weekends, nice cars, and enough money to pay for a spot in Culver Creek. You get to see the other side, the side that sometimes can go unnoticed and overlooked by just being labeled as “average” or even “under average.” Even without all that money, Alaska, the Colonel, Tyler, and Miles are happy, though mommy and daddy may not be there. They don’t have all the riches and they can’t get whatever they want. But they have each other, and they're loving families to support them through all the hard times. The Weekday Warriors may have big wallets, but these teenagers have big hearts. They’re smart, kind, and caring towards one an another. Even with the loss of a close friend and even the arguments that they have, they learn to stay close, stay together and be strong together because their friends are what they need most at that time.

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Dialogue

The author uses dialogue to help tell the characters stories. The examples I have chosen is at the part where the Eagle calls everyone down to the gym for bitter news.

"I think she's playing a dumb prank," Miles said.

"No, Miles, no I'm sorry," the Eagle said.

"She's really good, she could pull this off."

"I saw her. I'm sorry."

I chose this dialogue scene because it shows how the Eagle knows what happened to Alaska. Another example I chose is where Miles is talking to his dad on the phone to help him with the prank of the year.

"Hey remember when you stole the school bell and buried it in the cemetery?"

"Greatest Culver Creek prank ever."

"It was. So listen, I wondered if you'd help me out with the newest prank."

I chose this dialogue scene because it hints at the details to the prank Miles and Chip pull at Culver Creek.

Figurative Language

In the book Looking For Alaska , there are many examples of figurative language. One example is at the part where Alaska comes into Chip and Miles dorm room sobbing with tears. The author writes,"It took guts to tell him." This is figurative language because it's another way of saying it was hard to tell him. I chose this example because it gives dept to the conversation. Another strong example is at the part where Chip, Miles, Alaska, and Tyler go to court for being caught on campus for smoking. The author writes, "With my arms flat against my sides like a solider at attention." This is an example of a simile because it is a comparison using like. I chose this example because it gives the reader a mental vision of what Miles was like when he was in the court room.