I realize that Looking for Alaska is an excellent book, although it is my least favorite of all John Green's work that I've read so far. I think the reason is because I can't seem to think of Alaska as a person but rather a kind of flat, simple teenage boy's fantasy. I know some of that is intentional because the book is about a boy obsessed with a girl, but I can't help thinking that even in the attempts to make her more realistic and show the fault in Pudge's idolization of her; that she still comes across as "beautifully damaged" or whatever. Also reading lots of Kurt Vonnegut and poetry doesn't make her smarter.
On top of that she seems exceptionally annoying to be around. I don't know why all of the characters put up with her, but if someone came into my room at 5 am to play video games loudly and completely disregard the fact that I was sleeping, that would be the end of our friendship.
I don't know, maybe I'm being too picky, but I just can't get over her whole manic pixie dream girl thing. know that Paper Towns was kind of a follow up to L4A in that he explains the fault in idolizing people like that, so I don't blame him too much. I'm just wondering what other people think?
Pudge did see it, though. He knew she was self-centred and annoying, and he felt guilty for thinking it after she was dead. He said he wished he didn't love her as much as he did. He never idolised her.
However, you seem to think everyone only looks at the good. There were both good and bad traits about her. She didn't discriminate. She cared about people, even if she was self-centred.
She was a person, a good, bad, wonderful, horrifically mixed-up person like all of us.
I probably wouldn't like her as a person, but I love her as a character in that she's so wonderfully real.
i think she;s unique in her own ways.she's interesting, beautiful yet complicated.
I understood Alaska, I have a friend quite like her. I see the opposite to what you are saying about her. A found her a compelling character, and know people who i am close to who act like her. So from a first-hand perspective, I loved her character and understood her
She did seem really full of herself now that I think about it. I suspect that John Green tried to write her as a person that everyone thinks is great, but really isn't. For example, a lot of the characters, especially Pudge and the Colonel ignore some of her really messed up traits because of other traits that outshine the bad ones.
I like Alaska because she wasn't perfect, even though Pudge thought she was in the beginning. She had a lot of flaws yet her good qualities outnumbered her bad. She was selfish and a bitch, yet she was deep, she cared about her friends very much and she was very smart. She is like Margo, a seemingly perfect girl, but deep down has a lot of issues. Yet it's the issues that makes the character real, her flaws made her the perfect girl. Sure she was a bitch, but she had so many issues and she tried so hard to suppress them and eventually it turned her into a self-centered apathetic girl who smoked to die.
I agree that Alaska was a bitch and at first wondered why she had so many friends also. But after finishing the novel I began to understand why some people may aspire to be like her. She was an extremely passionate person who was not afraid to act upon extinct and intense emotion. She radiated powerful energy, which made her desirable as it is a rare quality many people dream to have.
I had a good friend very similar to her, and although she was very damaged, she created this feeling of opportunity and ambition whenever I was with her. It was almost like a synthetic euphoria. A made-up essence of happiness equal to that of natural. I think a lot of young people long the ability to act passionately without the fear of being judged, which is why Alaska is seen to be idolized.
I understand where you're coming from, but I actually really adored Alaska. You're right; we do see her as sort of a manic pixie dream girl at first because we see her through Pudge's eyes and that's how he sees her. But while she is viewed shallowly by others, she is by no means shallow. We as readers have the ability that Pudge doesn't; we can take a step back and imagine her complexly.
Alaska contains multitudes. She is self centered; she's tangled in her own losses, regrets, and fears. She craves love and companionship while maintaining a boundary around herself; she wants closeness and aloofness at the same time. She can be inconsiderate and moody, and her desire for love leads her to cheat on her boyfriends. None of these are traits that I condone, even if I can understand the motivations behind them. But out of her sorrow, Alaska tries to find meaning in the world around her. Like Augustus Waters and John himself, she sees reality and metaphor as endlessly tangled ("I smoke to die"). She asks big questions ("Will I ever get out of this labyrinth?") and views the world around her with a critical eye. She reads everything that she can get her hands on in a sense to make meaning of the world she sees. She tries to fix the injustices she sees, like with the Weekend Warriors. And wherever she goes, she lives with energy and laughs and tries as much as she can to have fun and make meaningful memories even as she tries to forget and suppress other memories, like the loss of her mom. She is both filled with joie de vivre and haunted by death.
Alaska, to Pudge, seems to spring fully formed out of the ocean of his dreams like some sort of manic pixie goddess. But she's not a goddess and his inability to reconcile himself to her contradictory nature is what ultimately prevents him from being able to save her. In some ways, like her desire to move forward and have fun and try to be happy, Alaska is admirable; however, in other aspects, such as her repression of old memories and the subsequent moodiness and attention-craving, Alaska is deeply flawed. The contradiction is what makes her so real and so compelling.