For those who have finished Looking for Alaska....

JustinSwanJustinSwan Posts: 165 ✭✭✭
Alaska's death-what's the final verdict? Accident, or suicide?
“But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
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Comments

  • JustinSwanJustinSwan Posts: 165 ✭✭✭

    I prefer not to decide that yet. Every time I go back and read John Green's books I make different decisions and realizations about the plot and the characters, and what I think about Alaska's death will probably change every time I finish the book! I think that's one of the great things about a really well written novel - you are never quite finished, and you can always come back for more :)
    I've had the same problem-I've read it three times so far, and by the time I've finished, thought that it was suicide (once) and an accident (twice). I concur, about it being a well written novel. Truly great works of literature never end with all questions answered. There is always room for interpretation, opening the floor for thoughtful discussion. Just as the ambiguity whether Hamlet was insane enhances the appeal of the play, so does the ambiguity of Alaska's death enhance the appeal of LfA.

    That being said, I'm torn between whether I want to know. It wouldn't have been as wonderful a novel if John had definitively answered it, and to a point it doesn't matter-the point of the novel is communicated regardless. I just really, really want to know.
    “But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.” 
    ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
  • ZbartleyZbartley Posts: 14
    edited November 2012
    That's a very difficult question, but I caught myself wondering whether Pudge forgave her more often, actually.

    Also, IT MADE ME SO GODDAMN SAD. That isn't exactly a substantial response, but that's all for now, thanks.
    by Zbartley
  • insomniacinsomniac Sarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosts: 183 ✭✭
    Taking in consideration all of the events that happened that night, it's hard to objectively decide. However, I like to believe it was an accident.
    image
  • GenvieGenvie Posts: 92 ✭✭
    edited November 2012
    I think that I can passionately argue both sides equally. Obviously there's enough evidence for either case. Over the years and many rereads, I think that I've probably leaned more towards suicide. I want to believe that it was an accident. Alaska was such a complex character that you can never put her in just one box of "suicide" or "accident". If I had to pick one scenario and say "Yes, this is what happened", I'd probably say that it was a combination of the two. Emotions running high and causing suicidal thoughts/tendencies (like driving fast) but not actually sure if ever planning on following through so the final result of her death was an accident.

    I'm not sure if I'd ever want John to say "Okay, this is exactly what was going through Alaska's head at the time it and was actually a suicide/accident".
    by Genvie
  • Accident. Like they said, she was too showy for suicide-- Alaska was a prankster, she liked to make a mess and revel in it, live it, watch people's faces as they took it in. Maybe in the heat of the moment, sad and drunk and whizzing down the road, she'd have just gone, "screw it," but I don't think it was pre-medidated, not at all. Someone who made trouble as often as Alaska made trouble would not want to miss the chaos. 
  • BrickBrick Posts: 36 ✭✭
    I really feel like it was a suicide. She was such a bombshell in the book you never understood what she was thinking, and she was crazy like that, so maybe it was an outburst of emotion or something. But I do think it was on purpous
  • ashsayshelloashsayshello AustraliaPosts: 2,050 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think that I can passionately argue both sides equally. Obviously there's enough evidence for either case. Over the years and many rereads, I think that I've probably leaned more towards suicide. I want to believe that it was an accident. Alaska was such a complex character that you can never put her in just one box of "suicide" or "accident". If I had to pick one scenario and say "Yes, this is what happened", I'd probably say that it was a combination of the two. Emotions running high and causing suicidal thoughts/tendencies (like driving fast) but not actually sure if ever planning on following through so the final result of her death was an accident.

    I'm not sure if I'd ever want John to say "Okay, this is exactly what was going through Alaska's head at the time it and was actually a suicide/accident".
    Basically summed up exactly how I feel. I also think it was a combination of the two, although it's been a while since I've read it so I'd have to read it again. I think she may have been driving recklessly because she was emotional and maybe wouldn't have cared if she'd died, but I don't think she actively decided that she was going to kill herself.
    "Like cheese in our pockets, these are the Pizzas in Our Pants." | I live in the land of the Last Ones
  • I like to think Accident, but there will never be a final verdict.
  • JustinSwanJustinSwan Posts: 165 ✭✭✭
    Well said, @Captain_Mustard. Very well said.
    “But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.” 
    ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
  • cptnmilkcptnmilk Posts: 7
    Honestly, the first time I read LFA, I was in a horrible place in live (I'd just attempted suicide) so I automatically jumped to her being suicidal. I realize now that I just wanted a character who I saw myself in to be like me, so I wouldn't feel so horrible.  I recently reread it, and now I'm leaning much toward accident...maybe it's my new found optimism? I'm not sure.  But I loved Alaska and I want to know as much as I don't want to.
  • ZachJPayneZachJPayne Carson City, NVPosts: 35
    It took me a very long time to decide it was an accident. I went back and forth for a long time. There were a few nights, after I first read the book, that it actually kept me awake, trying to decide. I don't think that if Alaska had consciously chosen to kill herself, she'd've done it that way. I don't consider a split-moment choice while intoxicated to really be a choice per se. So maybe it was a drunken thought; this thread has made me reopen that thought. But I think it was an honest-to-God accident. 

    I now choose to think about Alaska and Augustus in some far-away corner of the universe, playing cards and smoking -- well, not smoking, in Augustus's case. I use that thought to get through the day.
    I want to play -- don't wait -- forms in the hideaway.  I want to get on with getting on with things.
    I want to run in fields, paint the kitchen, and love someone, and I can't do any of that here, can I?
    Imogen Heap

  • ozziewithanieozziewithanie Posts: 120 ✭✭
    I dunno...  I flip flop on it completely, so I guess I've settled on "does it really matter?"  I think the question of how can Pudge live with it to be more interesting and difficuly...  Alaska is dead, so to her, it is irrelevant why she did it.  And while that question is relevant to Pudge, sure, it isn't one that he can ever answer - but the question of if/how he can forgive himself is one that he can.
    Check out my YouTube channels!
    ozziewithanie  |  Geeky Girls
  • I feel better thinking it was an accident, because she had been drinking, so combine drunk-driving with the present state of her emotions and I can't think it was intentional.

    I'll have to look for clues for different answers when I read it again in a few weeks.
    "There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark." ~Aragorn
  • Wadjet_EyeWadjet_Eye Posts: 12
    I tend to think that she committed suicide. I agree that she probably hadn't planned it. She blamed herself for her mother's death, and she forgot to go to her mother's grave. I think she was angry enough with herself to kill herself. I can see both sides of the argument, and I doubt that there even is a right answer.

    When she says that she smokes die instead of for fun like the Colonel and everyone else lends itself, at least, to her suicidal thoughts. The fact that she was drunk definitely did not help her to think it through, assuming that she hadn't already.

    Just my two cents.
  • RaibeanRaibean Oceanside, CAPosts: 144 ✭✭
    Here's a funny story: neither my sister nor I ever thought Alaska's death was a question, but my sister never doubted it was a suicide while I couldn't conceive it wasn't an accident!
  • shiravilshiravil Posts: 2
    I believe it as suicide. She really seemed like she wanted to die honestly.
  • mooredanielle54mooredanielle54 Posts: 16 ✭✭
    I'm going to have to agree with @Captain_Mustard ;
    I really think it was a split decision suicide. Sure, it could have been an accident considering all of the alcohol in her system at the time but given the emotion that charged her rash decision not to brake, I really think she did it on purpose. Alaska has so much going on in her life. Sure, she was a fun and exciting person but she had a lot of serious issues to deal with and an incredibly dark past. Plus, as mentioned, she was a very passionate person. All of this combined with the convenient placement of the accident with the truck create a perfect storm of sorts. I hate to admit that it was suicide but I'm pretty well certain that is exactly what happened. 
    "I never know why. I just know who" 

    International Tea-Drinkers Society ----- without the Tea it's just DFBA
  • Captain_MustardCaptain_Mustard Posts: 46 ✭✭
    @mooredaniel54: Really REALLY offtopic, but anyway: Although tea is quite amazing, 'Don't forget - Be awesome' works pretty good as well.
    Inn á við held ég
    Viðarglætur birta bál
    Einn með mér sjálfum 
    Anda inn anda frá
  • AlineAline Posts: 221 ✭✭✭
    If you ask me what I WANT to believe, than I'll say accident. But if you ask me what I THINK that happened, honestly I have no idea. I've only read it once, I'll have to re-read before I can give my final opinion.
    Aline
    "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
  • KnyxKnyx Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Half of me resists this question on principal, as the entire point is that the question is unanswered, and always must be.  It really struck true to me about the uncertainty of life, how no matter how much we want to know, some questions will never, and never can be, answered.
    The other half of me, is incapable of living without an answer, and so has settled on Suicide.  We know she was impulsive, unbelievably frustrated with herself, had wild mood-swings, and was highly intoxicated.  There is reason to believe that she had had suicidal thoughts before, and saw it as a potential way out.  It's too easy to imagine her seeing her opportunity, and sticking through with it.
    A 14 year old male living near Boston who likes hiking, life, learning, and nice people.
  • Meabh365Meabh365 Posts: 41
    Each time a reread it I come to a different conclusion about her death, I like to think it was an accident, but Im not really sure :/
  • FancyTealGiraffeFancyTealGiraffe Posts: 2,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2013
    Here's my understanding. Alaska drove out after picking flowers with Takumi. She realized that just because her dad didn't love her enough, didn't mean no one else did. Overwhelmed with love, grief and sorrow for her mother and love for her friends, she decided that all the love she had could not bridge the gaping hole of grief for her mother and hatred for her dad. To escape that "labyrinth of suffering," she was so drunk that she decided the best course of action was suicide. So, she killed herself, knowing that lots of people loved her, which killed her more inside than the car crash did. So, suicide, but not directly because of depression, but the fact that she could never not suffer in life. Sorry for the long post.
    by FancyTealGiraffe

    The Fancy Lad of the Last Ones


    Check out my YouTube channel here, where I vlog every Monday! :D

  • LishwaLishwa Posts: 78
    edited May 2013
    .
    by Lishwa

  • geekacrossthestreetgeekacrossthestreet Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    I don't know. I've read the book a couple of times and I want to think that it was an accident, but at the same time, with how she was acting beforehand it could have easily been the alternative and I don't even want to think about it. I don't feel like Pudge ever truly forgave her, and that he has significant survivor's guilt because of it. 
  • sacredautosacredauto Posts: 64 ✭✭
    I don't think she intended to kill herself when she left. But having forgotten about visiting her mother's grave had been a huge emotional hit for her, considering that she had always blamed herself for her mother dying, I think that it was just an opportunity to get away from what was hurting badly at the time. A chance to get away from the guilt. I agree that if she was suicidal, she would have killed herself much sooner.

    I also think having written "straight and fast" as a way to get out of the labyrinth of suffering was a coincidence. I feel like i understand what she meant by that but i really can't put it into words
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