Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

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Looking for Alaska 53. Eighty-Four Days After Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Speaker Day is an annual Culver Creek tradition in which the students get an afternoon off of school to listen to two speakers selected by the junior and senior class. In order for the prank to work, the group needs to get the Eagle to agree to host “Dr. William Morse,” who they will say is a friend of Milesdad and a scholar of adolescent sexuality. Miles calls his dad and asks him if he will help out with the best prank in the history of Culver Creek. Miles’ dad hated Speaker Day when he was a student, and he eventually agrees to help Miles as long as Miles promises not to tell his mother.
In order to pull of the Memorial prank, Miles must enlist the help of others. The more Miles connects with other people, the easier it becomes to deal with his grief. Further, the fact that he cannot memorialize Alaska alone, but needs the help of so many people, is a testament to how many people truly cared about Alaska. He can remember her more perfectly with the help of others, because he did not know her perfectly on his own.
Themes
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Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
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The Colonel is forced to enlist the help of the Weekday Warriors, who love the prank and are happy to assist. Longwell Chase, the class president, goes with Miles to the Eagle’s office, and they tell him that they have chosen a friend of Miles’ dad, Dr. Morse, to be the junior class speaker. Miles and Longwell, of course, make an odd pair considering that Longwell once tried to kill Miles. Eagle calls Dr. Morse, although in reality he actually calls Miles’ dad, and Miles’ dad is convincing enough as a professor that the Eagle agrees to bring him to Speaker Day.
In the days following Alaska’s death, Miles and the Colonel grew apart from the rest of the student body because each felt that he cared about Alaska more than anyone else. While the Colonel once thought the grief of the other students was fake, their willingness to work on his prank suggests that he now understands how much Alaska mattered. Her death now brings people together instead of pushing them apart.
Themes
How to Live and Die Theme Icon
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon