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

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Comments

  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    @arnodelozo Alaska does not strike me as the sort of character who thinks too much about consequences. She kissed Pudge because she felt like it, or probably because she felt a bit sorry for him, and had she lived they probably would have done it a few more times before she broke it off and gone back to her boyfriend. One of the things I like about the book is the disparity between what Pudge sees of Alaska and the girl she actually is. I think she does care about him, but not nearly as much as he cares about her.

    Also, and this is just me, Alaska never struck me as the sort of person who kills herself. She was too stubborn and too proud, I never bought that she would let herself go out like that. But of course the point of the ending is that we never know.
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • arnodelozoarnodelozo Posts: 10
    Yeah, I never really saw it that way.
    But after all I think we all misimagine Alaska. The Alaska we imagine in our head will never be exactly the same as the Alaska someone else imagines. Especially in this book. Just like some people like to think she killed herself and some people like to think it was an accident. We form an opinion about her, and since we don't have enough information to actually know her we will make things up, or misinterpretate some of her actions.
    Yes, she was selfish and didn't thought a lot, but how much she thought of Pudge feelings, we will never actually know.
    Also I think she was paralyzed when she saw the car. She tried to be someone else, she tried to take action because of what happened to her mother, but eventually it doesn't work out, she is still the scared little girl she was years ago.
    One of the things I like about this book is that you have a lot of freedom as a reader. He gives you the action, but you are free to interpretate this book any way you want. And it's very interesting to hear other interpretations and then be like, omg I never saw it that way. You can read this book as many times as you want, but it will always be a little different. Just like you can picture your own Alaska in your head and that one will always be a little different.
    "Books belong to their readers after all. And the Looking for Alaska I read will never be the same as the Looking For Alaska you read."
    I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.

  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    The way I see it at the end, Alaska didn't have much control over herself. She went on auto pilot, if you read they way I read, constantly overthinking it all, you would see that she did stuff weather she wanted to or not. She didn't care about a lot of the stuff she did, and from the standpoint of somebody who has studied psychology I will say that she didn't kill herself. She wouldn't do that to people, she wouldn't do that to her dad, or Pudge, or the Colonel, or Takumi. She wouldn't treat the people she cares about that way, because then she would just be failing them again, and I think that failing people was Alaska's biggest fear. She failed her father when she was young, and as she grew she saw herself failing other people. Every time she got all sad and what not, it was because she had failed somebody. In the end, she failed her mom, for the second time, so she tried to fix it, she drove away. If you ask me she was dead the moment Blue Citrus left the campus. She died the moment, when nobody would ever see her alive again. She died before the crash, and what caused her death, was something as simple as failure. She failed her mom for he second time, and I think she died of plain old sadness. In my mind people can be so sad that they just die, without killing themselves, there brain just can't take it, so it says shut down. I think that that is how she died, her brain couldn't stand the pain of failure, so it shut down the parts that hurt in a hope to eliminate the pain, and when it shut those things down, it killed her. Though I doubt anybody else would agree with my logic, that is the way I see it. When she escaped the view of people, she shut down, her brain was able to make the car go for a while after she died, her last responses, like a chicken running around with it's head cut off. The last message from her brain was straight and fast, and it was meant for something else, and as her body shut down, her brain took it too literaly, and her dead body drove straight and fast until it hit the cop car. 
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    Tbf since she is a fictional character, it's not like she's constrained by the usual laws of physics. And that's as good a theory as I've ever seen. If you think about it, as soon as we the reader lose sight of her, never to see her again, she's dead.
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    I see your point. Having gone through depression several times in my life I can say that I have been on autopilot before. Add in how drunk Alaska was and how traumatizing and crippling her emotions are I'd say your claim is plausible.

    In any case BBTTR.
    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: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    Well if it plausible, then it went with one of the things John said he wanted the book to be. 

    Also I think it is better to say books belong to each individual reader.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    I thought that BBTTR implied that it was each individual readers opinion.
    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.
  • IgnipotentIgnipotent Posts: 1,565 ✭✭✭
    I thought that BBTTR implied that it was each individual readers opinion.
    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: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    It does, but not clearly.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • I think that the fact that we don't know, is what makes the death so influential.
  • BH622BH622 BaltimorePosts: 128 ✭✭
    I just finished reading it the other day, and I have to agree with @EricaCroftDFTBA . One of the messages of the story is that, to an extent, you don't really know anybody. Just as Pudge didn't really know Alaska, he also didn't really know Takumi. There's always more to know, and more people can tell us. Taking that with the fact that Alaska was impulsive beyond normal reason, cynical (particularly with regards to herself), and far beyond coherently drunk at the time, the only way for the reader to know for absolute certain whether it was one or the other would have been for John to have us in her head at that exact moment. Even if Pudge found some evidence pointing to a suicide and HE came to that conclusion, accepting it as anything other than his own personal wish fulfillment would be assuming too much. Her death was what many deaths are: a sudden, unexpected end to an unfinished story. It's the same as the end of Hazel's favorite book in TFiOS. Alaska's story stopped mid sentence, leaving us with questions that have no answers.
    “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.” - Neil Gaiman on writing

    Like martial arts? Like reading blogs about it? Not sure? Check out my brand new blog, A Warrior's Journey.
  • Bekah0506Bekah0506 Colorado SpringsPosts: 4

    It was suicide, but she was so drunk that she did not realize what suicide really meant, I think.

  • semihipstersemihipster Denver, COPosts: 36
    I honestly don't know, and I think that is the point of the novel. That you can never truly know a person, and why they do the things they do. A person can never understand another's reasoning, and will always only know a small portion of them. I think it's meant to remain a mystery, just like Alaska was.
    image ♡
  • semihipstersemihipster Denver, COPosts: 36
    The way I see it at the end, Alaska didn't have much control over herself. She went on auto pilot, if you read they way I read, constantly overthinking it all, you would see that she did stuff weather she wanted to or not. She didn't care about a lot of the stuff she did, and from the standpoint of somebody who has studied psychology I will say that she didn't kill herself. She wouldn't do that to people, she wouldn't do that to her dad, or Pudge, or the Colonel, or Takumi. She wouldn't treat the people she cares about that way, because then she would just be failing them again, and I think that failing people was Alaska's biggest fear. She failed her father when she was young, and as she grew she saw herself failing other people. Every time she got all sad and what not, it was because she had failed somebody. In the end, she failed her mom, for the second time, so she tried to fix it, she drove away. If you ask me she was dead the moment Blue Citrus left the campus. She died the moment, when nobody would ever see her alive again. She died before the crash, and what caused her death, was something as simple as failure. She failed her mom for he second time, and I think she died of plain old sadness. In my mind people can be so sad that they just die, without killing themselves, there brain just can't take it, so it says shut down. I think that that is how she died, her brain couldn't stand the pain of failure, so it shut down the parts that hurt in a hope to eliminate the pain, and when it shut those things down, it killed her. Though I doubt anybody else would agree with my logic, that is the way I see it. When she escaped the view of people, she shut down, her brain was able to make the car go for a while after she died, her last responses, like a chicken running around with it's head cut off. The last message from her brain was straight and fast, and it was meant for something else, and as her body shut down, her brain took it too literaly, and her dead body drove straight and fast until it hit the cop car. 
    I really like this idea! I never saw it that way, the fact that she was just dead inside and kind of went on auto because of it. I think that's a really interesting way to look at Alaska
    image ♡
  • AdhamAdham Posts: 10
    edited June 2014
    Accident. the way she told her boyfriend (can't remember his name) that she'll call him back, and she told Pudge "to be continued" and i think she was just trying to get past the cop car and the truck, so she can reach her mother's grave. probably even cried a little, and the tears in her eyes and the alcohol, made it hard to see clearly. and maybe she tried to wipe the tears from her eyes, and didn't look at the road early enough to notice the jackknifed truck and the cop car, until it was too late. i mean, if it was suicide, why didn't she do it close to the school, or on her mother's grave so she can be next to her. and why did she get upset when the water got to her books ? if she wanted to kill herself, then she wouldn't be upset about something like that. it was an accident 
    by Adham
  • bilabrfnsabilabrfnsa Posts: 1
    Hi guys, i've read looking for alaska and i'm researching about it right now. Why do you think people like alaska when she's so messed up? Did this book change you, psychologically?
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    Adham said:
    Accident. the way she told her boyfriend (can't remember his name) that she'll call him back, and she told Pudge "to be continued" and i think she was just trying to get past the cop car and the truck, so she can reach her mother's grave. probably even cried a little, and the tears in her eyes and the alcohol, made it hard to see clearly. and maybe she tried to wipe the tears from her eyes, and didn't look at the road early enough to notice the jackknifed truck and the cop car, until it was too late. i mean, if it was suicide, why didn't she do it close to the school, or on her mother's grave so she can be next to her. and why did she get upset when the water got to her books ? if she wanted to kill herself, then she wouldn't be upset about something like that. it was an accident 
    About the books, sometimes when people kill themselves they don't know until shortly before they do it, that they are going to do it. I know that when I tried to kill myself it was a decision I made that day, and I acted on it as soon as I decided to do it. Also if you have worked a long time for something and it gets ruined it hurts whether you plan to use that something or not, you have already invested the time into it.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • alleybaisden_alleybaisden_ Posts: 1
    I can't believe that this book has been out for years and I had NEVER read it until recently. I was hooked on The Fault In Our Stars for years but now Looking for Alaska is my ultimate favorite. I felt that in some ways, I related to the character, Alaska. I know that I have only read the book once, but I went over and over the ending of the book, contemplating whether or not her death was an accident or a suicide. Once I decided my answer, I decided to go online and view other's opinions on it. Of course, my opinion stayed the same. I believe that it was an accident. Of course she was drunk and upset about forgetting her mother's birthday, but she searched in a field for flowers to take to her mother's grave, until she eventually decided to take the flowers that Jake had recently gotten her. Why would she search so hard for something, take off to reach a certain destination and then kill herself before she even reached it? I think that she could have possibly fell asleep (sort of unlikely, as well) or could have been crying, maybe she dropped something in the floor and thought she could lean down really quick? That's just my opinion. :)
  • mysticnerdfightermysticnerdfighter PennsylvaniaPosts: 20

    Alaska's death-what's the final verdict? Accident, or suicide?

    I don't know what to think of it.
    "There's nothing better than a world where everybody's just trying to make each other laugh.”--Matthew Perry :D

    Don't forget to be awesome <3
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