Okay, so, I don't know if there are any discussions about the symbolism in Looking for Alaska.
So I made one.
I wanted to discuss the odd correlation between acceptance and cigarettes in the book. It seems to me that cigarettes represented an independence from Pudge's old life, and being accepted in the new group he finds in The Colonel. In the beginning of the book, he finds smoking disgusting and foreign, much like he finds the group to be harsh and unwelcoming. By the end of the book, he is smoking by himself, without The Colonel, just as he is harsh and changed via the group.
I don't know, the smoking just stood out to me, because John always made it a point to have them smoke and speak philosophically at the same time.
Also, who here believes that Alaska killed herself? Who thinks it was an accident?
I don't know, I honestly feel that Alaska would not have wanted to kill herself, because she was very much in love. Not with any one person, but she relished the feeling of being alive, and I think far too much to kill herself. I think she just messed up. Horribly. It seems that John's writing style is to create a world, and characters, that are completely real. Alaska was so human, even if Pudge wanted to make her more than that. She made a mistake, and it cost her life.