Looking For Alaska
Delaney Bryan

Journal One: Pages 1-56

Give a summary of the major events and character developments in that section.

• Miles is going to boarding school in Alabama

• Only 2 people showed up to his going away party, and his mom thinks that’s why Miles wants to go to boarding school.

• Miles real reason for wanting to go to boarding school is so he can go “seek a great perhaps”, he tells his parents he’s bored with his life in Florida and needs a change.

• When he arrives at Culver Creek Boarding School, he finds it nothing like he expected it to be.

• When Miles meets his roommate, Chip, Miles discovers that he has a talent for memorizing and naming countries, just like Miles ability to name people’s last words.

• Culvar Creek is split up into 2 kinds of people, the regular kids, and the Weekday Warriors, who are the rich and snobby kids.

• Chip is known as the Colonel, and Miles becomes known as Pudge. 

• Colonel introduces Pudge and Alaska when they go to her room to buy cigarettes. 

• The code name for the dean of the school, Mr. Stanes, is the Eagle. 

• The one main rule of Culvar Creek is to NEVER rat anyone out.

• Alaska asked Pudge while smoking, how do you escape the labyrinth, and what is the labyrinth, this stumps Pudge.

• The girl who was supposed to be Alaska’s roommate had gotten kicked out at the end of the year before because her boyfriend and her were lying naked together, drunk, and smoking a joint; Which were all three non-forgivable offences at Culvar Creek-> but everyone suspects some to have ratted them out.

• The night before classes start, Pudge is taped up and his mouth is taped shut and then he is thrown in the lake, before they throw him in, they whisper “This is for the Colonel, you shouldn’t hang out with that a-hole.”

• When the Colonel finds out they did this to Pudge he declares war on the Weekday Warriors.

• Pudge realizes that he can’t like Alaska because she has a boyfriend and she treats him like he’s teen. 

• Pudge meets Colonel’s girlfriend, who is a Weekday Warrior, and she’s not the nicest person ever. She doesn’t say one nice thing to Colonel and she leaves without Colonel.
• Colonel’s girlfriend calls the payphone minutes after she leaves and this is when he finds out the Weekday Warriors think it is him who ratted out Alaska’s old roommate, and that’s why they tried to drown Pudge.

• Pudge gets kicked out of his favorite class, World Religions, because he was staring out the window.

• Alaska feels compelled to defend Pudge in this situation, and she calls the teacher out.

• Pudge’s friend, Takumi is obsessed with finding out who ratted out Alaska’s old roomate, Marya, and whenever they are together, he always asks if anyone has any new information.

• Alaska calls Pudge adorable and so cute and always makes comments about how she wants to kiss him. This only adds more flames to Pudge’s fire, but she shoots them down by continually commenting about how she loves her boyfriend.

• Pudge asks Alaska why she smokes to fast, she replies with a goofy smile on her face and says “Ya’ll smoke to enjoy it, I smoke to die.”

• One of the guys who threw Pudge into the lake, Kevin, tried to offer a truce to the Colonel, but the Colonel would only do it if Pudge didn’t know Millard Fillmore’s last words, and of course he did, so there was no truce.

• During the game, the Colonel would yell out obscene things, it got so bad that the other coach began to complain and he eventually got thrown out of the game. Which he had already been thrown out of 37 games before that one.

• Alaska takes Pudge and 5 others to McDonald’s for a study session, and on their way over, Lara, a cute girl who was born in Russia, just so happens to have to sit in Pudge’s lap.

• Pudge asks Alaska, why she’s named Alaska. She goes on to tell him that her parents allowed her to pick her name when she was seven, and that’s they name she picked.

• After that, Pudge saw a sweeter side to Alaska then he had ever seen before, and he really like that side of her.

• Pudge tries to kiss Alaska after this conversation, and she quickly changes the subject.

• She brings up the labyrinth again; how it’s just like your life, you spend all this time talking about how awesome it will be once you get out and just imagining that future is what keeps you going, but you never do get out, you live in the labyrinth forever.

• As Alaska, Pudge and the Colonel were smoking near the lake, The Eagle catches them, and gives them the Look of Doom.

What are YOU thinking and feeling as you read?
    As I read, I start to feel sorry for Pudge. At the beginning of the story, when only two people show up to his going away party, that shows he doesn’t have many friends. When he gets to Culvar Creek, he finds the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. She just keeps leading him on with comments about how she wants to kiss him and how cute and adorable he is, but then shoots him down with comments about how much she loves her boyfriend. It just seems as though Pudge can’t win in any situation.
   Also as I read, I’m thinking about how interesting these characters are. Although they blend together very well, they all are their own person. It’s neat how every character has some unique talent or quality, Colonel can name all the countries, Pudge knows people’s last words, Alaska has read so many books, and Takumi wants to fix everyone’s problem and is very curious. These characters are so well-developed and that brings a real feeling to this novel.

How are you responding to the characters, plot, style, word choice?
 Honestly, I don’t know exactly how to respond to the characters. I feel as though I need to know more about them till I can really say how I feel about them. Although I will say that Pudge is coming out of his shell and that’s all thanks to the Colonel. Alaska is a tease. She doesn’t know exactly what she wants, and that really irritates me.Even though Alaska and I are alike in that way, I still don’t like it. One minute she’s leading Pudge on and then the next she’s talking about how much she adores her boyfriend. The Colonel wants things his way, one way or another he’ll get them his way. I like that about him, he knows what he wants and he’s determined to get it. More people need to have. Pudge is just don’t know about him yet. 
    The plot is very well thought out and I can tell John Green put a lot of time and effort into this book. The plot isn’t repeating like other books seem to do, it’s a change of scenery. His style of writing is very easily comprehended. He doesn’t choose huge words that would mess up his flow. This book flows very nicely.

Why did you choose this novel?
 My final two book choices were either The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Looking for Alaska. I had heard and read many reviews on both books, and they both seemed like good choices for this assignment. But as I was going to do my survey to tell which book I had chosen, the girl sitting next to me had also chosen The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was sort of a split second decision to change my book to Looking for Alaska. So far, I haven’t regretted my decision.

Who is telling the story? Point of view? Do you trust the narrator?
 The story is being told by Pudge. He is telling it in first person, saying I, me. As of right now, I trust him. He seems as though he would be truthful. He hasn’t led us astray. He seems as though he looks at everyone in a good light, even if they have done bad to him. He seems as though he has already begun a transformation, so this could also change how he tells the story and how much trust I’ll have in him.

Describe the setting.
   Culvar Creek Boarding School in Alabama is a place where the teens are responsible for their own actions and decisions. The school is just like any other boarding school, class rooms and dorm rooms. But the students have made it their own, the smoke house provides a place to go hangout and smoke without Mr. Stanes, the Eagle watching their every move. This school also offers a lot of time for the kids to hangout with each other, which isn’t the usual school experience.

Who are the main characters and what problems do they face?
 Pudge, is the absolute main character. He faces the problem of seeking adventures. He wants more out of his life and that’s the main reason he goes to boarding school. Colonel, Pudge’s roommate and friend, faces his home situation. His dad is abusive to his mother, but apparently just got up and moved away to California. He also faces the problem of the whole school thinking he is the one who ratted out Mayra and her boyfriend. Alaska, Pudge’s crush and friend, faces the problem of not knowing what she wants. These are just the beginning of their problems, more will come as the novel develops more.

What do you predict will happen? Why do you predict this?
 I predict that Alaska will give into Pudge. At one point in the book, the Colonel says that she’s cheated on every boyfriend she’s ever had, but she hasn’t cheated on this one. Once a cheater always a cheater, she will eventually give into him. You can already see the tension developing between the two characters.

3 notes - 6 November, 2012

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