Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska 38. Nine Days After Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Colonel theorizes that maybe Alaska got a call from Jake and realized that she needed to see him immediately, but as she was driving, she saw the jackknifed truck and realized it could be “the end to her labyrinthine mystery.” Miles tells the Colonel that she couldn’t have been thinking about Jake because she was making out with him and didn’t want to talk about Jake when Miles tried to bring up the subject. Miles yells at the Colonel for trying to figure everything out, and even though Miles knows he wanwats to know what happened. He is simply scared that he will not like the answers that he finds. Miles tells the Colonel that he doesn’t care about figuring out what happened to her anymore.
Miles’ two main impulses toward Alaska—to find out more about her and to make her love him—come into conflict with one another after she dies. Miles desperately wants to understand what happened that night, but he is scared that if he finds any answers, he will learn that she was going to see Jake and that her “To be continued?” didn’t mean anything significant. Miles wants to imagine that Alaska’s last words would have been about him, and he can’t bring himself to let go of this fantasy.
Themes
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
The Colonel responds that he wants to know because Alaska made him “her accomplice,” and he’s furious with her for driving a wedge between himself and Miles. He wants to ask Jake about his call with Alaska that night, but Miles isn’t interested in speaking to Jake. The Colonel tells Miles that he needs to stop thinking about himself all the time and start thinking about Alaska.
Miles is so dedicated to maintaining his dream of being with Alaska that he is willing to sacrifice his relationship with the Colonel, despite the fact that Alaska is dead and the Colonel is still very much alive.
Themes
How to Live and Die Theme Icon
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon