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

13

Comments

  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    Genvie said:
     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.
    This.

    I realize this is probably not a very satisfying answer, but I don't think it matters. Admittedly, I read the novel on in the summer, so I don't quite remember every detail, but Alaska was living as though there was nothing to live for (or at the very least, her life had turned into a maddening, fruitless search of finding something to live for), and so my answer would be that it's unimportant. According to my own amateur literary criticism, there's a reading to be done of the ambiguity surrounding Alaska's death that functions as a statement on nihilism. If there is no meaning to your life, you might as well not be living. So, whether Alaska deliberately killed herself or not, she was never really "here" in the first place.
    by Lavache_Beadsman
  • DuartayDuartay Middle-of-nowhere, Iowa, USAPosts: 52
    That's the one thing I really loved about this book. Yes, it was sad when she died. But watching Pudge and the Colonel piece together what happened that night really advanced the plot forward to the point where I drew the conclusion that Alaska was the only one who really knew.
  • MrsWho42MrsWho42 The great state of Denial.Posts: 1,173 ✭✭✭
    ChocolateFrogs i love your signature :)

    "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts."

  • rvp2d218rvp2d218 Chattanooga , TNPosts: 1
    Books belong to the readers !!! I feel differently every time I read it. Alaska was the only person who will ever be in that car, she took her secrets with her when she died. That's my favorite part of the book the characters, like Pudge, have to accept the memory of the real Alaska they knew and not the memory of the Alaska that may or may not have killed herself.
  • bluebeefbluebeef Posts: 10
    I would like to think accident, but yeah. *sobs*
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    in my mind the final answer is suicide there were very little times when it seemed like an accident i mean im not going to get drunk and speed at a cop car because i know i could swerve she wasnt so drunk that she couldnt see the road its not even like they had alchohol that does that type of stuff to you i would say its posibly accident if she had been drinking large ammounts of moonshine as it can litteraly blind you for a period of time but they were drinking strawberry hill from boones farm which is wine thats not made from grapes plus the proof on its is miniscle im not any older than them and i know that strawberry hill has miniscle affects on me so they had to have mass ammounts of it to even blow anything so i dont think they were heavy drinkers at allbut suicide makes way more since to me i guess you would have to ask john to get a possitive answere but i think it was suicide not an accident
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • First of all, sorry for dissecting a beloved character but it needs to be done for the purpose of this argument.

    Now, Alaska was a troubled soul. From what I could gather from the novel, she was bipolar (aka manic-depressive). It is pretty obvious she had erratic mood swings extreme even for a teenager and even though manic and depressive episodes usually last days or weeks and people have "normal" stages in between I think she could be in that category. Also, sometimes (especially when under the influence of mind altering substances) the manic and depressive can hit you at the same time, which is what I think happened to her that night. Therefore, her death can be explained as a spur-of-the-moment suicide.

    She was clearly very upset and crying hysterically while screaming how she sucks at everything (depressive) and at the same time she was very impulsive and not thinking about the consequences of her actions (manic). When she got to the roadblock she probably didn't think much beyond "whatever, straight and fast" or "mom, here I come". 

    p.s. I cried when I read that chapter. 

    I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

    - French soldier 

    My blog - http://noodlescrazies.blogspot.com/ 

  • Though I hate to say it, I do strongly believe that it was a suicide. Alaska was impulsive and "deeply unhappy" and she had forgotten her mother's death (which, you must remember, she felt guilty for), and everything was just there. Right in front of her. She could just end it. And in that split second, that brief moment of absolute hopelessness, she took that road. She took her life.
  • WingspanTNRWingspanTNR Iowa, USPosts: 116 ✭✭
    I believe that she was trying to fix everything in her life on the way to her mother's grave. When she saw the accident ahead, she, under the influence of all the alcohol, said in her mind, "PIZZZAA it. I'll never be good enough for anyone." and just kept driving on. Moral of the story: don't drink. Ever. I think if she hadn't been drinking, she may have realized how much she meant to so many people. However it is a deeply personal story and anyone can have their own interpretation. That is why John is such a brilliant writer and why Looking for Alaska is his best-quality novel. Katherines is still my favorite but Looking for Alaska is the best.
  • WingspanTNRWingspanTNR Iowa, USPosts: 116 ✭✭
    I believe that she was trying to fix everything in her life on the way to her mother's grave. When she saw the accident ahead, she, under the influence of all the alcohol, said in her mind, "PIZZZAA it. I'll never be good enough for anyone." and just kept driving on. Moral of the story: don't drink. Ever. I think if she hadn't been drinking, she may have realized how much she meant to so many people. However it is a deeply personal story and anyone can have their own interpretation. That is why John is such a brilliant writer and why Looking for Alaska is his best-quality novel. Katherines is still my favorite but Looking for Alaska is the best.
    Apparently Our Pants censors posts. "Pizzza it in the above post is supposed to be "F**k it."
  • GabeMedranoGabeMedrano Posts: 28 ✭✭
    I definitely think Alaska has a very self-destructive personality. Even though she seemed to have showed signs of depression/suicidal thoughts, I don't think she intended to kill herself that night.

    Of course, it can go either way but I'm still sure it was an accident.
  • dontpanicdontpanic Posts: 12

    I don't know, and I don't think I want to.

    Alaska had a fairly destructive personality. She 'smoked to die'. She could have committed suicide.

    However, she was pretty god damn drunk. She couldn't have driven well anyway.

    Maybe it was a split second choice. Maybe it was planned. Maybe it wasn't an accident at all. But I don't want to know. LfA isn't about the question of dying. Its about the question of living.

     

    (Damn I take this seriously)

  • WingspanTNRWingspanTNR Iowa, USPosts: 116 ✭✭
    dontpanic said:

    I don't know, and I don't think I want to.

    Alaska had a fairly destructive personality. She 'smoked to die'. She could have committed suicide.

    However, she was pretty god damn drunk. She couldn't have driven well anyway.

    Maybe it was a split second choice. Maybe it was planned. Maybe it wasn't an accident at all. But I don't want to know. LfA isn't about the question of dying. Its about the question of living.

     

    (Damn I take this seriously)

    We all do. That's why we're here. Welcome to Nerdfighteria.
  • dontpanic said:

    I don't know, and I don't think I want to.

    Alaska had a fairly destructive personality. She 'smoked to die'. She could have committed suicide.

    However, she was pretty god damn drunk. She couldn't have driven well anyway.

    Maybe it was a split second choice. Maybe it was planned. Maybe it wasn't an accident at all. But I don't want to know. LfA isn't about the question of dying. Its about the question of living.

     

    (Damn I take this seriously)


    I definitely think it was a split second choice. But I've come to the conclusion that it isn't any of our places to say. We don't know, and we never will. No one will ever know. But as Pudge did, we must forgive.
  • atomicpoppyatomicpoppy VirginiaPosts: 12
    Ya know, until I read this thread, it had never occurred to me that it was open to interpretation. (Much like The Giver... and The Road.) It definitely felt like suicide to me.
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    Really to understand what happened with Alaska, you must understand that she was from a broken home. Being from a bad place can really ruin you. It messes up how you think, you are more likely to have mental health problems. She may or may not have had mental health problems, but we can't forget that she is just a character in a book. Which is something bigger than most people think. A character in a book can always alter you, it just depends on how you see that character. We must remember that techniquely she had no final thoughts, but if she did, I think it was something more like, sorry mom I want to come and see you, as I didn't save your life as a child.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • MaxWBeaulieuMaxWBeaulieu Los Angeles, CAPosts: 60 ✭✭
    To me the point of the novel is that sometimes things don't make sense, it sucks, and it is okay for it to suck. 
  • rinnyrinny999rinnyrinny999 Somewhere in Colorado, United States of America, North America, Earth, The Solar System, etc.etc.Posts: 15
    Honestly, I think we're not supposed to know.  Even the Title "Looking For Alaska" may imply that we, as the readers, are supposed to yearn and search and seek for the answer, only to never find it, much like the characters in the book did.  You can honestly hear arguments from all the sides and never really find truth.  You must find it for yourself. That is the beauty of this book.  

    "The key to sorting it all out is to understand it doesn't actually matter."-Dirk Strider
     (A textbook example of counter intuitiveness,ねえ? Also, Homestuck.) "私は私、それだけ."ーBad Apple (Literally translates to "I'm me, and that's all there is to it.  Pretty fitting for a signature.)

  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    I think it is one of the few of John's books that would be cool with a sequel, or maybe even a prequel, maybe showing when Pudge's dad was there, or the time that Alaska and The Colonel were there before Pudge got there. It would be cool to know more of the back story, or just to see all of the remaining characters slowly mold themselves back into the people they were before she died or maybe even into new people.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • mutantninjalapenomutantninjalapeno Posts: 110 ✭✭
    it's a case of schrodinger's car crash. you can't know which one it was, unless you get inside alaska's head. and really, we can't.

    even if it was suicide, after a certain point, she may have wanted to take it back, but it was too late. so i wonder - was it both?
  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2013

    "I knew that neither I as a writer nor you as a reader would ever get inside blue citrus that night" -John Green

    I would like to take some time to explain why it is important that we will never truly know what happened in those last moments of Alaska's life.

    1) It is crucial for the story and its impact

    Okay, clearly the story is based around the mystery of the death, and the research into why she died. However this isn't nearly as vital to the plot as the development of each individual characters and how Alaska's personality is represented in each and every one of them in the time after her death. A major theme at the end is the idea that not even her soul dies, but is carried on in the lives of others. Alaska's pranking habits live on in all of the characters, her mysterious nature in Takumi, her outspoken nature in Lara, her impulsive nature and outlook on life in Pudge, and her excessive drinking in the Colonel. Even the aspect of Alaska's character that is centered around trying to cope with the loss of her mother is within all of the characters after her death. Alaska manages to live on in spirit, even if forgotten through time.

    2) Alaska represents the Great Perhaps (GP)

    Alaska, to our protagonist, was was the manifestation of the Great Perhaps, both at their introduction and after Pudge came to terms with her death. The GP was originally a concept centered around death and not knowing what is to come afterwards, but also ironically reflects the uncertainty of life events centered around death itself. No last words can ever be taken as canon, because even in the case of Francois Rabelais (accredited with the last words of GP) there are three other accepted sets of last words! To know whether it was suicide or an accident takes away some of the magic that is Alaska as a physical representation of the mysterious unknown of both the past and future.

    3) We need to be able to relate to Pudge

    Personally I feel this is the most important reason behind the mystery. Pudge has come to terms with the fact that he will never know Alaska well enough to truly understand what was going through her head that night. We as his audience have to go through the suffering of not knowing the truth with him. In a sense, we are now in the labyrinth having to cope with the situation in the same way. We will never know the truth, but can overcome the suffering only by following in the footsteps and mindset of Pudge at the end of the novel. 

    Now to ignore the fact that we should never know what happened in Blue Citrus. There is no evidence for what I would like to propose, it is just filling the gap as our imaginations want to in this situation.

    In my mind, even though there is no evidence for this, I feel that Alaska died just as her mother did, via aneurysm. Because Alaska's distress in dealing with her mother's death is so paralleled to the mourning and coping of her friends I feel that it is only fitting to see Alaska go in the same manner as her mother. To me, in order to provide solace to my mind in dealing with this question, Alaska died before ever hitting the police cruiser. It wasn't a suicide, it wasn't really an accident, it was an event that couldn't be avoided.

    But that's just the way my mind wants for it to be.

    (Sorry about the long post, I hope what I'm saying makes sense)


    by Ignipotent
    You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips.  Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, 
    but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, 
    a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things.
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    That is a really good way of explaining it. I'm getting a new looking for alaska book tomorrow, along with tfios and the divergent series, so I will probably read it again before too long
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • arnodelozoarnodelozo Posts: 10
    I hear a lot of people arguing about whether it was suicide or an accident, but as some people explained, we will never know and we aren't supposed to know. That's the whole point of the book, sometimes they are no answers, and we can do whatever we want, we won't find answers that don't exist. Some things just happen.
    But I also wonder about her actual feelings for Pudge. She may have been drunk, but she remembered about her mother and she got of campus, so she must have knew what she was doing. I mean. Regardless of whether it was an accident or not, why would she kiss him and then leave. It's like she wants to hurt him, because it's quite obvious that they will never be together. We feel that this won't end will, it will never work out.

    I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.

  • arnodelozoarnodelozo Posts: 10
    Ignipotent really explains it very well. But where did you get that quote from John? he never really talks about LFA (which I think is a good thing, because his interpretations would be privileged over the others.)
    I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.

  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    I found the quote in my copy of LfA. At the end there is a short interview with John and it is part of the response to one of the questions asked.
    You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips.  Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, 
    but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, 
    a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things.
  • arnodelozoarnodelozo Posts: 10
    Oh, that explains a lot.
    I have a British copy. It isn't in there apparently.
    I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.

  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    I just got a new copy, I wonder if it there, I hope it is.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    Okay, I just finished rereading LFA today, a few hours ago, and I realized something that I didn't think about last time I read the book. Am I the only one who thought Lara's accent seemed really cute? Maybe it was just the way eet sounded in my head, but eet seemed really cute to me. Cute enough I just typed in eet. Theese is makeing me laugh heestereecaly.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    The quote in question is also found on this page: http://johngreenbooks.com/alaska-questions/

    It is the first question in the section titled "Questions About Alaska's Death"
    You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips.  Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, 
    but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, 
    a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things.
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,005 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks

    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
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