Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

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Looking for Alaska 45. Twenty-Nine Days After Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
While the Colonel calls Jake, Takumi accuses Miles of hoping to find out that Alaska was on her way to break up with Jake so that she could come back and marry Miles and have genius kids who knew poetry and last words. Miles is offended, and Takumi tells him that he is sick of Miles acting like he is the only person who was in love with Alaska. Miles tells him that he kissed her right before she died, and he’s the only person who did that. Takumi is shocked, but he agrees not to tell Lara.
It turns out that Takumi can, in fact, relate to what Miles is going through because he loves Alaska, too. Both are jealous of Jake, and when Takumi learns that Miles and Alaska kissed, he is jealous of him as well. However, as frustrated as he is with Miles, he helps him out by not telling Lara about what he’s just learned.
Themes
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Colonel comes back and tells them that Jake called Alaska late that night because she wanted to talk to him at their exact anniversary, down to the second. They talked normally for about five minutes, while Alaska doodled, and then suddenly Alaska freaked out. Jake doesn’t think she was on her way to visit him, because she told him that she’d “talk to him soon” rather than “see him soon.” The fact that she made this plan with Jake and said “To be continued” to Miles suggests to the group that she wasn’t planning on killing herself.
Later on in the novel, Miles will learn that the day Alaska died was also the anniversary of her mother’s death. The fact that Alaska made plans for the date—she realized it was her anniversary with Jake—but forgot to plan to go to her mother’s grave suggests that Alaska had managed to move on, a least a bit, from her mother’s death. This is further evidence in favor of Alaska’s death being an accident.
Themes
How to Live and Die Theme Icon
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Miles and the Colonel try to remember the conversation they had with Alaska on her last night, but the Colonel was drunk and Miles wasn’t paying attention for most of it. Miles thinks to himself that no one remembers last words when you don’t know the person is about to die. The group decides that something in Alaska’s head must have triggered her freak-out, rather than something someone else said.
Miles has previously held that last words are a good indication of how people lived their lives, but his realization about how last words are recorded makes them seem a bit less significant. Are people whose last words aren’t recorded any less interesting?
Themes
How to Live and Die Theme Icon
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon