Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska


John Green

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Looking for Alaska: 42. Twenty-One Days After Summary & Analysis

In religion class, Dr. Hyde talks about a Sufi story in which a woman pours water on the flames of hell and lights heaven on fire. She does this so that people will love God because he is God, not because doing so will get them to heaven. Miles hasn’t read the story, because he has studied very little since Alaska’s death. He likes the story, but the afterlife is still important to him and he very much wants to know where Alaska is. He wants to feel her looking down on him, but he can only picture her as a corpse.
Although Miles has written about the afterlife in an academic context, he hasn’t yet fully come to terms with what he personally thinks happen when people die. His obsession with last words has not prepared him to understand death in its reality. He must now apply what he has learned about how to live and die, and start figuring out his own beliefs.
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Miles and Takumi go to McDonalds and Miles apologizes for ignoring Takumi since the accident—something he’s done so that Takumi won’t know he is responsible for what happened to Alaska. Takumi asks Miles if he’s dating Lara anymore, because she had been wondering. Miles says he probably isn’t.
Miles gets so caught up in his fake relationship with Alaska that he essentially forgets that he is in a real one with Lara. This is the ultimate proof that his and Lara’s relationship was really only one of convenience.
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