Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska 28. Three Days Before Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Miles packs two-days worth of black clothing for the weekend in the barn and he, the Colonel, Takumi, Alaska, and Lara present the Eagle with a variety of reasons that they need to leave campus. He agrees to all of them, and the group goes to set up in the barn. Alaska smokes, despite the fact that she is in a building filled with hay. The Colonel finally tells the group his and Alaska’s plan: they are going to send fake progress reports to the parents of Kevin and his friends saying that they are failing school. Miles is certain they’ll get expelled, but the Colonel assures him that he has done his research and they are not actually committing any expellable offences.
Earlier in the novel, Alaska acknowledges that while her friends smoke to enjoy themselves, she smokes to die, and throughout the book, Alaska endangers her fellow students by selling them cigarettes. In this scene, however, Alaska’s smoking habit and lack of concern over living a long life endangers everyone in the barn. Alaska does not simply fail to see the value in her own life—she also has no trouble jeopardizing the lives of the people she loves.
Themes
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Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon
The Colonel has coordinated the prank down to the second. As they leave the barn, Miles thinks that this is the coolest he has ever felt, and that the Great Perhaps is finally happening. Takumi and Miles are tasked with distracting the Eagle by setting off fireworks around campus. Takumi puts on a fox hat because it makes him feel like he can run faster.
Miles spends a great deal of time at Culver Creek thinking about what awaits him in the future, but in this moment, he focuses on what is happening to him now. He finally fully fits in at the school. He is not just accepted—he is needed.
Themes
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Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon
Miles and Takumi set off a string of fireworks. Their timing and path has been carefully planned by the Colonel, but they make a mistake and end up closer to the lake than they expected. They are forced to run through a clearing where they can be clearly seen by the Eagle, who is now pursuing them. Miles and Takumi cannot stop running for fear of getting caught, and Miles ends up running into the swan that lives in the school lake. The swan bites him, which makes running difficult. Eventually they make it back into the woods and head to the barn.
Miles spends a lot of time at the beginning of the novel worrying about what school officials and teachers think of him. At this point, however, he blatantly flouts Culver Creek rules. He cares much less about getting in trouble than he does about letting down his friends. Following the model Alaska set for him at Jury, he willingly accepts a swan bite in order to protect his friends from getting caught.
Themes
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Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon
Once everyone is back at the barn, the group debriefs. Lara successfully managed to put blue dye into Kevin’s conditioner and hair gel. The Colonel is mad at Alaska because she decided to send progress reports to the parents of twenty more Weekday Warriors rather than just Kevin and his friends. The Colonel worries that this will limit the number of suspects and make it easier for the Eagle to catch them. Alaska promises to take the fall if they end up getting in trouble for her decision.
Alaska’s reckless behavior endangers not only herself, but also everyone else in the group. She is often selfish, and she does what she wants without asking the opinion of anyone else. While Alaska claims that she will take the fall if they get caught, her past behavior suggests that she cannot consistently commit to protecting her friends.
Themes
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Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon
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The Colonel doesn’t believe Alaska because she ratted on Marya, and he also points out the improbability of the idea that anyone would believe that Alaska single-handedly set off fireworks around campus, put dye in Kevin’s hair products, and mailed out fake progress reports all at the same time. Takumi says that he will take the fall with Alaska if necessary, because the Colonel has more to lose (his scholarship) than anyone else.
Unlike Alaska, Takumi models what a good and loyal friend should do. He is willing to take the blame for the prank even though he had nothing to do with expanding its scope, and should only be punished for setting off fireworks on campus. He appreciates how much the Colonel has to loose and will do what is necessary to keep his friend safe.
Themes
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The group talks about how angry Kevin is going to be, and Alaska says that he deserves it. Miles, on the other hand, doesn’t really hate Kevin anymore. He thinks that it takes too much energy to hate the popular kids and it’s not worth it. Miles realizes that for him, this is just a prank, but to Alaska, it is something more meaningful. The group drinks wine until they fall asleep and Miles thinks about how exciting life can be when he takes risks.
Even though the Weekday Warriors almost killed Miles, he finds it easier to forgive them than expend energy on hating them. Alaska, on the other hand, seems to truly hate them, despite the fact that what they did to her was much less serious than what they did to Miles. As wild and free and Alaska appears to be, she struggles to let things go.
Themes
How to Live and Die Theme Icon
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon