Great Perhaps

Great Perhaps


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The book looking for Alaska by John Green is about a high school junior named Miles  who decides to go to boarding school hoping to find his great perhaps. The “great perhaps” refers to what truly gives life meaning. He feels like his life didn’t live up to his expectation and has no real meaning. The poet Francois Rabelais last words were “I go to seek a great perhaps,” and that is exactly what miles is looking for,but unlike the poet he goes on a quest far from home to find it. When he starts attending the boarding school he befriends Alaska an eccentric and rebellious girl who becomes more than a friend but also  his mentor.

The book has many important lessons but the theme is that people tend to live life  thinking about the future and forget to live in the present. “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining the future that keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present,” when Alaska told Miles that she was referring that he is so caught up looking for his great perhaps that its actually preventing him from living in the present. But most importantly that people can’t avoid the present and think that the future will have the answers to their problems.

Alaska always had a dark humor but it was different from Colonel as I read quotes like, “I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart”  didn’t make me  think much of it, but when I read the quote, “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die”  I realized it had a deeper more thoughtful meaning to it as almost as if she was hunted by the thought of death after her mothers death. I usually don’t relate to main characters but when it came to Alaska I was able to understand why she smoked or did all the things she did . I don’t smoke or drink but I have my own ways to numb the pain and anxiety away such a prescribed medication and therapy and the way she dealt with it is the way most teenagers deal with their problems nowadays. Most teenagers live with guilt such as Alaska and are haunted by the past but like Alaska said, “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

Every word had a symbolic meaning to it and every time I started reading more of it I became more and more amazed how realistic and deep it was.“If people were rain, I’d be a drizzle and she’d be a hurricane,” quotes like that made me interested in reading but quotes like, “We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think we are invincible because we are” made me want to continue reading.  I highly believe it’s a book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime, especially because many young adults and teenagers can relate or learn from this book. 

John Green is working with  Sarah Polley on the  screenplay of the movie looking for Alaska which will be coming out on June 2017, despite the early release billboard.  The cast is still unknown  but by early 2016 it will be known. The director is Rebecca Thomas, but it appears that they have not decided who will be starring on the film. I feel like the movie won’t be as good as the book, but it is something I am  looking forward to seeing.