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

24

Comments

  • jackiewhitusjackiewhitus Posts: 20
    I was actually thinking about this a few days ago.
    I believe that it wasn't suicide, but at the same time, not a total accident. She accepted her fate when she was driving. No matter what happened, she would accept it for what it was.
    I'm in love with David Tennant's hair.
  • MortbaneMortbane Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2013
    In a fit of self-loathing, especially drunk, it's easy to forget about what your life means to anyone else or what a future means to you.  It may not have been her intention when she left, but at the height of her most pathetic hate there came an obstacle.  Not being one to vacillate, it's likely that as soon as the opportunity presented itself, she thought "I could do it" and committed to the decision, for better or for worse.

    It is possible that she was crying so much, or so drunk (or asleep) that she really didn't notice the lights, but honestly, it feels more like a choice.  Sure, the only reason she hadn't seemed particularly suicidal before was that she wasn't.  She's very strong and determined, and once she's made her mind up about something, she does it.  No waiting.  You want to do something, you get off your butt and do it.  That's the kind of person she seemed to me.  If it was a thought and she wanted it, she would waste no time in making it happen.
    by Mortbane
  • marian_batmarian_bat Posts: 2
    I think she was definitely suicidal and thinking about wanting to die, but not at the time that she left. I think she was just in a tremendous hurry and it was an accident.
  • WaifuWaifu Posts: 24
    While there were so many signs point to her suicidal tendencies, I believe that her death was purely an accident. I mean, she was completely PIZZZAA-faced, and she was on her way to her mother's grave sight to lay down a bundle of her mother's favorite flowers.

    By the end of the book, a set of lyrics were going through my head, lyrics that I thought were most fitting to how I, and the main character, felt about losing her:

    "This is an anthem for the girl that got away
    This is an anthem for the world of yesterday
    This is an anthem for the rebel of my youth
    This is an anthem for the risk of loving you"

    ~Armin van Buuren, "Anthem" (A State of Trance)

    I couldn't help but to cry over that loss. John did a fantastic job with fleshing her out as a character.
  • nickcurrynickcurry Posts: 139 ✭✭

    I don't know how to articulate this but I'll try my best.

    It's like the question of accident vs suicide matters. But it doesn't, really. Whether it was an accident or a suicide, it doesn't change the outcome; Alaska would have died either way.

    It's always the living that needs to make sense of the dead and death. The question matters to us, the readers because we need the closure of an ending, just as Pudge needs it. I think Pudge wanted it to be a suicide or otherwise he'll always live with the guilt of indirectly killing her. But on the other hand, a suicide could be seen as an insult to her memory; Alaska, the prankster who, despite her moods, was certainly living her life loudly, one who wouldn't escape through suicide. In this way, an accident would be deemed more 'acceptable', an event that no one had foreseen. This brings us back to the very question, how well did we actually know Alaska in all her complexities? We only have Pudge as our narrator and he isn't objective to begin with. Maybe there were, 'signs' missed by him (and therefore, us) that Alaska would have been prone to suicide. There might have been a side not shown to him and us. Or really, it could have been a weird combination of both, that she might have killed herself some other way to escape the labyrinth but she wasn't originally going to do it on that particular night; but that night presented an opportunity. Or maybe it's just a simple matter of being too drunk to make any coherent decisions about life and death on the spot and she just drove into the police car because it just happened to be there at the time. The possibilities are endless. 

    All in all, it doesn't really matter if it was intentional or not, because it's Pudge and his friends who would have to make sense of the whole thing to cope with what happened. It's their decision to to decide what happened that is important. I think that what's so great about the book is its ambiguity and that it makes you think it over many times, and yet there will never be a definite answer.

    p/s: I'm sorry I made you all read such an incoherent mess of thoughts but at this really late hour, I hope I can be excused.


  • Rina0610Rina0610 Posts: 8
    I agree with @sacredauto.
    I don't believe she set out to kill herself; when she left campus after seeing Takumi it was all about her mother and the fact that all Alaska ever did was fail (or so she feels). While she was driving her confidence must have been so low, she must have felt so worthless that even though she didn't consider it an option she would be better off dead.

    BUT then an opportunity arose and she took it and that is how it became to be a suicide.


    I don't think the Straight and Fast necessarily refers to suicide: it could just as easily be a manual to a way of living as it could be a manual to a way of dying. Live Straight and Fast - live the right way, the best way and you will find the way out of the labyrinth.

    Those are my thoughts at least.
  • 45regan45regan Posts: 146 ✭✭
    I think that whether or not it was an accident or a suicide doesnt matter. What matter is how we as readers will deal with the death of our narrators love interest, because I think that readng the story from Pudges perspective made me fall in love with Alaska the same way that he did. I'm well aware of the fact that its a fictional story with fictioncal characters but I think John wants us to consider the imporance of life and how to live it and how to move past events such as what Pudge has to go through. I think that not knowing almost makes it easier to deal with it because then he will never have to deal with wether or not he indirectly killed her.
  • KatyskittleKatyskittle Posts: 34
    I think that she left campus intending to visit her mother, but saw an opportunity for suicide and went with it. I feel like if it was planned she would have left a note (not just "straight and fast"), because thats just Alaska. I doubt it was an accident because she drank quite often, so she would have been able to hold it more....plus it was wine...Not too strong
  • deadlyloofahdeadlyloofah Posts: 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwLXQRv6AbE


    1.) I wanted to contribute to this conversation, but above is a film adaptation of "Best Day/Worst Day" from Looking For Alaska, I figure you all would appreciate it.Spent 3 months on it.

    Now back on topic.

    I think it was apathy for your own existence that killed her. To me Alaska was the kind of girl that when she got in those moods never thought about anything other than what was going on. A leap first and damn the consequences kinda person. (I lost a friend she jumped out in front of a car in front of her boyfriend, a lot of these questions we have been asking ourselves as well. She was a lot like Alaska hince us doing this film.) that being said. I don't think she set out to kill herself, I don't think she wanted to die. I think she just didn't care, she was going to get through to visit her mom or die trying, and she did. 

  • VyseDyneVyseDyne Posts: 5
    While it is not and never can be clear cut, I echo the sentiments that it was an opportunistic suicide. Alaska was, by her own admission, a "deeply unhappy person", prone to bouts of extreme sullenness and rashness.

    She blamed herself for her mother's death, forgot the anniversary of her death, and was coming off a hugely dramatic moment in her own life. The question of how Alaska would have dealt with what happened with Pudge is, to me, the more interesting question, honestly.

    Pudge's own bias blind spot which carries over into the narration, it is difficult for me to determine how it would have played out in the end, though I suspect it would not have ended well for Pudge.

    Considering all the factors involved, especially the .24 BAC, which drastically affects decision-making abilities, and Alaska's underlying melancholy possibly being enhanced by booze, my opinion is "suicide of convenience". In the normal course of events, I doubt she would have killed herself, but everything piled up for her that night. The anniversary of her Mother's death and her 8 month anniversary with her boyfriend, whom she had just betrayed, proving in her own mind that she just f***s everything up. When the opportunity arose, and she just impulsively took it.
  • claraoswaldclaraoswald Hogwarts Posts: 120 ✭✭
    I feel like it was suicide, but not pre-meditated. I feel like she was just so tired with everything that she just gave up at the last second. Finally free. 

    _.•__WE THINK TOO MUCH AND FEEL TOO LITTLE. 

    (_______. + ‘ ¯ ‘ +.

    _‘ + . _ .  ‘ ____•._))

  • rainbrorainbro Posts: 6
    @claraoswald I think that that is a very good point. But you also have to add in the fact that she was terribly drunk. And that could have made it a little bit of both. Maybe?
  • claraoswaldclaraoswald Hogwarts Posts: 120 ✭✭
    @rainbro that's sort of what i mean, as a person Alaska was just tired of it all, but she was strong enough to keep going. However that night between the emotional overload and the alcohol, she finally broke. 

    _.•__WE THINK TOO MUCH AND FEEL TOO LITTLE. 

    (_______. + ‘ ¯ ‘ +.

    _‘ + . _ .  ‘ ____•._))

  • FalloutFantasyFalloutFantasy Posts: 23
    I want to believe it's suicide. If it was me in her shoes, that's exactly what I would have done. 
  • MasterPadawanMasterPadawan Posts: 61
    I believe that it was a bit of both. The suicide reasons were obvious, but I believe that she wasn't actually trying to die, and from my intrepertation Alaska's character wouldn't go without ever, at least, explaining it to someone... either Pudge, Colonel or her boyfriend. But the explanation they found (that she thinks that she can pass the police car and then the other truck, because she didnt know how close they were) can also be true.
    Saying that, there are more reasons and evidence towards accident, but I don't think that if Alaska wasn't so unafraid or unprepared for suicide, she would never hit the car and would simply go through a different place.
    "Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed" - G. K. Chesterton
  • AurielAuriel Posts: 2
    I think that she wasn't planning on killing herself, but she was drunk and so emotionally overwhelmed from forgetting her mother's death, she just decided not to brake. I don't believe she thought she was going to die, she just was angry at herself and the rest of the world and needed to let that anger out in a destructive way. 
  • sophialovesweetssophialovesweets Posts: 20
    While i was reading the second half of LfA, i was in denial of Alaska's death, thinking that this whole tragedy was just some set up or prank. I could not let go of Alaska and insisted that she would come back before the end of the book.

    however,
    when she didn't, i felt like i could cry for days. and it was as if i personally knew her, inside and out.

    when i did accept that she was dead, i immediately thought it was an accident. She was just really, really drunk and happened to forget about her annual visit to her mother's grave. i believe that her only true intention was to see her mother, and pay her respects. 

    why would she have committed suicide? what was she running away from? 
  • KatOxymoronicKatOxymoronic Calgary, AB, CanadaPosts: 23
    Honestly I believe that Alaska's death was a impromptu suicide. She saw a way out, straight and fast, and took it. 
  • maggie22maggie22 Posts: 6
    I believe that Alaska no longer felt the need to live due to the quote "you smoke... I smoke to die." So when Alaska was in the car, she wanted to feel something again because after a while you become numb to feeling and need a rush or other means to feel. She then lost control of the car and has no will to try to regain control and ended up smashing into a tree. This story hits home with me right now because a boy in my town crashed into a tree last week and died. No one knows the circumstances although they know he was not intoxicated. We all want to know what happened to this boy and also to Alaska, but we will never know because they are gone now.
  • KinnyKinny Hula Paradise Posts: 233 ✭✭
    At first I thought it was suicide because she was really depressed and drunk, but when I found out about the flowers and the anniversary of her mother's death, I changed my mind. She was so scared and nervous it could perfectly be an accident.
  • MerelyCatMerelyCat Posts: 13
    Rebecca_A said:
    I call it an accidental suicide. 
    I think I agree with that. 
  • MeganRMeganR Posts: 3
    I believe it was both. The way John left the book, it was open for your interpretation. So in all reality until we can talk to Alaska Young. We will never know. She is the Scrounger's cat she both commuted suicide and it was an accident.
  • MattTMattT Crystal Lake, Illinois Posts: 8
    @MeganR, did you mean Schrödinger's cat?
  • MeganRMeganR Posts: 3
    @MattT Yes. Spelling is my kryptonite.
  • mikareadermikareader Posts: 9
    When Alaska was raging at them that she needed to go, it never occured to me that she killed herself. The cause that the Colonel and Pudge found in the end seemed perfectly logical because Alaska blamed herself for her mothers death, and she thought she was so horrible that she forgot about such an impotant event. I think she was so infuriated at herself that she wasnt even paying attention she just needed to get to her mom, and then never saw the car. Maybe she did see it and she just figured 'I'm so inconciderate, lets just end it here and now' and gave up. But that really doesnt seem to me like a thing she would do or be okay with anyone doing. There may be a  chance that it was suicide, but i think it was just a sad accident.
  • katnisskittkatnisskitt Kitchener Ontario, CanadaPosts: 74
    Suicide. With all that was going on and her being so upset and having so many thing that were so emotionally complicated it just seems more likely to me that she killed herself. 
  • mrsscraigmrsscraig Buenos Aires, Argentina.Posts: 15
    Um.. I think it was an accidental suicide as someone here said. I mean, I don't think she had ever planned to commit suicide, just that when she was in a car, and she was angry/sad/thought she screwed up everything, she decided at the last moment not to react to the car, or to stop living, if you know what I mean.. yes, I think it was suicide, but I think she decided to commit suicide like 3 seconds before she died.
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,637 ✭✭✭
    I'm going to call it an accident. 1)Alaska was someone who enjoyed life far too much to think she shouldn't live anymore, no matter how drunk she was. 2)It seems to me like "Straight and fast" was a symbol to her relating to the labyrinth, not a literal half-baked suicide plan. 3)Given her location she probably could have found much easier ways of killing herself, so if she was committing suicide she probably would have done it in an easier and more reliable way than a car crash. Alaska was always pretty smart, even completely hammered, so she would have known that there was a good chance she would survive with horrible injuries, and therefore pick a different method of killing herself. 4)It helps me cope with life better if I can pretend that those I love can only be taken from me and that they can never voluntarily leave me, with no warning that that is what they wanted.

    On the subject of the question, I agree with many of you that in the end it doesn't matter how she died, so much as it does that she died. I also think the answer you give says a lot about you. Make of that what you will.
    When is a door not a door? When someone steals the hinges.
  • beloved490beloved490 Fremont, CAPosts: 13
    edited September 2013
    Thiefree said:
    I don't think we're supposed to know which it was. I don't think even Alaska would have known the answer, had she survived the accident. I'm sure I'll reread and change my mind all the time.


    nickcurry said:

    I don't know how to articulate this but I'll try my best.

    It's like the question of accident vs suicide matters. But it doesn't, really. Whether it was an accident or a suicide, it doesn't change the outcome; Alaska would have died either way.

    It's always the living that needs to make sense of the dead and death. The question matters to us, the readers because we need the closure of an ending, just as Pudge needs it. I think Pudge wanted it to be a suicide or otherwise he'll always live with the guilt of indirectly killing her. But on the other hand, a suicide could be seen as an insult to her memory; Alaska, the prankster who, despite her moods, was certainly living her life loudly, one who wouldn't escape through suicide. In this way, an accident would be deemed more 'acceptable', an event that no one had foreseen. This brings us back to the very question, how well did we actually know Alaska in all her complexities? We only have Pudge as our narrator and he isn't objective to begin with. Maybe there were, 'signs' missed by him (and therefore, us) that Alaska would have been prone to suicide. There might have been a side not shown to him and us. Or really, it could have been a weird combination of both, that she might have killed herself some other way to escape the labyrinth but she wasn't originally going to do it on that particular night; but that night presented an opportunity. Or maybe it's just a simple matter of being too drunk to make any coherent decisions about life and death on the spot and she just drove into the police car because it just happened to be there at the time. The possibilities are endless. 

    All in all, it doesn't really matter if it was intentional or not, because it's Pudge and his friends who would have to make sense of the whole thing to cope with what happened. It's their decision to to decide what happened that is important. I think that what's so great about the book is its ambiguity and that it makes you think it over many times, and yet there will never be a definite answer.




    I agree with @Thiefree and @nickcurry, and, aside from the endless possibilities of the complex character of Alaska we didn't really get to know, I kind of think that a discussion on whether it was an accident or a suicide actually takes away from the whole point of Miles' final essay at the end - the whole idea of forgiving and getting out of the labyrinth through forgiveness. One can't choose to forgive and and then hold on to the pain of the past - the whole point of the book (IMHO). Without, in the end, forgetting, forgiveness doesn't come, and dwelling on the pain of Alaska's suicide/death by trying figure out what it was really only counteracts, what I believe to be, the whole point of Looking for Alaska

    Plus, I've learned in my years here on Earth (I'm not that old, so I know I don't get the rights to really say "I've learned in my years here on Earth," but I'm going to do it anyway!), that closure has always been, and will always be, an illusion. I believe that was one of the greatest themes I personally got from this book - there is no such thing as closure, and the slower one takes to come to that conclusion, the more lost in the maze/labyrinth of pain and suffering one gets. We see it in everyone's story - Alaska's, especially - but hear the hope of a sense of closure through forgiveness at the end mostly through Miles (I'm not a fan of the nicknames given to the characters, so I choose to stand by their real names, though I'm sure John Green had a purpose (or did he?) in giving everyone a nickname except the girls). The longer one searches for unavailable closure, the longer one subjects oneself to the mental agony of never knowing. That's why people found the ending of this book so powerful, and to debate and re-open the closure that Miles found in the forgiveness of the unknown is to discount the point of the whole story itself (this is all in my very humble opinion, but who's going to read it anyway? d:). 

    Anyway, I have more to apologize for than a long-a$$ response (including my overuse of parentheticals), so I will just say sorry if I offended anyone (especially the original post-er), but just wanted to through out my opinion. (: 

    P.S. for some reason I don't quite get what's going on with the quotes I'm pulling, so, sorry for the ugliness of the comment, as well. X_X
    by beloved490
    "There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there is never more than one." - C.S. Lewis
  • ItsyBitsyItsyBitsy MarylandPosts: 56
    I'll admit, that at first when I read the book I wasn't sure if I wanted to know why or how Alaska died. But soon I started thinking about it more and more. Alaska's death did put me into a small existential crisis, making me want to know more. I strongly believe, I don't know why, but no matter what the evidence says I believe that it was an accident. It is fairly easy for it to have been an accident. 

    I think it may just have been my need for it to be an accident, and not something as depressing as a suicide that causes me to be so certain that it was an accident. 
    Don't Forget To Smile
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