Looking For Alaska By John Green

1076 words - 4 pages

The novel Looking for Alaska by John Green is told in first person narrative from the point of view of Miles Halter. The story takes place in Alabama on the campus of Culver Creek Preparatory School following the lives of Miles, a 16 year old boy, and his group of friends that consist of the "Colonel", Alaska, and Takumi. As the novel progresses, Miles' innocence slowly unfolds as he faces the pressures of drinking, smoking and Alaska’s death. Miles changes from being an antisocial person to someone who makes an effort to integrate into a new environment. He also transforms from someone who has an ordinary life to a rebellious youth.

At the beginning of the novel, Miles' old life in Florida is explained as boring, sad and uninteresting. Miles did not have many friends. After deciding to move to a boarding school in Alabama in search of his "Great Perhaps", Miles' parents insisted on throwing him a going­-away party. However, because Miles was antisocial and did not have many real friends, barely anyone came. Miles thinks about this, while explaining about the people he has to invite to his going away party, “ I was more or less forced to invite all my "school friends," i.e., the ragtag bunch of drama people and English geeks I sat with by social necessity in the cavernous cafeteria of my public school, I knew they wouldn't come.” The fact that Miles described his “school friends” as people he has to sit with by social necessity, proves that he does not really have any friends, rather students he is forced to sit with or otherwise eat alone. Another example that demonstrates that Miles is antisocial is how he thinks, “I never really excelled at small talk.” He thinks this when only two of his friends show up to the party. This shows a major trait of an antisocial person, to not even be able to make small talk with friends. At Miles' old public school in Florida, he did not have many friends and he is therefore considered antisocial.

As soon as Miles arrives on Culver Creek, his mindset changes. Instead of being antisocial, he is already making an effort to integrate into his new environment. When Miles arrives on Culver Creek and meets his roommate Chip "Colonel" Martin, he is already trying to change his social situation. He makes a genuine effort in being friends with the “Colonel” when he cracks a couple of jokes. He also goes out of his comfort zone when meeting new people. For example, he even introduces himself first when meeting Lara, who later becomes his girlfriend. This gesture showed his eagerness to make new friends and meet new people. Another example showing Miles’ willingness to integrate into his new environment, includes him smoking and drinking. Even though such activities are not considered as very good behaviour, his best intentions are put forward. In the “Colonel’s” group of friends, all of them smoke and drink, and so Miles does as well in order to fit in. This shows Miles' eagerness to have friends as he goes...

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