The Main Themes of Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Looking for Alaska is a book written by John Green about Miles (Pudge) who meets the sexy and breathtaking Alaska away at a new school. Just as Pudge believes his life is taking a turn for the better, it all ends too soon with a tragic accident. Alaska’s death is a shock to everyone, including myself. Alaska was on a mission to visit her mother, and I think she was trying to complete the mission and did not intend to wreck. The story is driven by guilt. We find guilt from Alaska about her mother and Miles and colonial for Alaska's death. The other major theme was friendships.

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Alaska was a girl to always be impulsive last minute, and very emotional, which would lead many people to believe her accident was intentional. I do not agree with this. Alaska was on the phone when she remembered her mother's death date. Already carrying the burden of feeling like she could have prevented this, she wanted to repay her mother. Another symbol that Alaska planned on making it to see her mother was the flowers she brought with. She has kept those flowers for years, which means they had to hold a special place in her heart. Alaska also had it all. She had an amazing group of friends who loved her, and would always cover her no matter what. This is why I believe her wreck was not intentional.

Guilt is a central theme throughout this whole book. It starts from the very first pages with Miles feeling the guilt of leaving his parents. His parents are happy for him, especially his father by following in his footsteps but Miles still feels guilty trying to find his “Great Perhaps”. Alaska is also stricken with guilt at a young age. Alaska feels guilty about not calling for help when her mother was dying. This probably couldn't have prevented her mother from dying, but Alaska can’t help but think of the maybe. Maybe her mother could have lived. She is also carrying the guilt of her father blaming it on her. The theme of guilt is most predominant towards the end of the book. Miles and colonel are filled with great guilt that they helped Alaska leave when she was drunk. They believe they aided her death in some way, and let her leave in the state she was in.

The other theme I noticed was friendship. In the beginning, Miles's party was attended by two peers in his class. He did not have any true friends. When Miles first moves to Culver Creek, he has a difficult time engaging in friendships. He has awkward encounters and even is involved with a dispute his first night between the colonel and the weekday warriors. Miles soon blossoms and becomes a substantial part of the group, and learns the rules like no ratting. He also supplies money to his friends and partakes in new activities such as drinking and smoking, which he never had before.

Looking for Alaska is a book worth the read. It encompasses teenage years, love, and hardship, a theme that is found throughout John Green books. Looking for Alaska also leaves readers pondering Alaska’s final thoughts, which helps readers analyze the book and conclusion.

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