Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska 43. Twenty-Seven Days After Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Four weeks after Alaska’s death, the Colonel decides that that he and Miles should steal the Eagle’s Breathalyzer and try to replicate Alaska’s intoxication level on her last night, so that they can understand what she would have been capable of doing. The Colonel asks Takumi for booze, and when Takumi says he’ll join them, the Colonel says that he and Miles need to do something alone. Takumi says he’s tired of their secrecy, and the Colonel promises to tell him everything tomorrow.
The search for information about Alaska has ramifications not only for the Colonel and Miles’ friendship with one another, but also their relationship with Takumi. Rather than coming together in a time of mourning, they allow their guilt to separate them from the rest of their friends.
Themes
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Memory and Memorial Theme Icon
Miles knocks on the Eagle’s door to distract him so that the Colonel can run in and steal the Breathalyzer. Miles talks to the Eagle about how the Colonel is really struggling with Latin because he’s so grief-stricken. The Eagle tells Miles that he’s certain Alaska would have wanted the Colonel to do well in school. He also asks Miles if he’s up to anything, but Miles manages to distract him long enough for the Colonel to escape.
Although Alaska’s death makes Miles’ life much more difficult, he does grow up a lot in the process of dealing with it. In this scene, Miles is finally able to take control of a prank and lie on his own. He now cares more about finding out what happened to his friend than disappointing authority figures.
Themes
Mystery and the Unknown Theme Icon
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon
The Colonel spends the night trying to reach a .24 blood alcohol level so that he and Miles can figure out what Alaska would have been capable of doing in that state. They hear footsteps coming down the hall, and Miles tells the Colonel to cry just before the Eagle walks in. Miles lights a cigarette to cover the smell of alcohol, and when the Eagle comes in Miles tells him he was only smoking so he could stay awake with the Colonel. The Eagle tells Miles to report to Jury tomorrow. He leaves, and the Colonel keeps drinking until he reaches Alaska’s intoxication level. He is unable to stand up or walk in a straight line.
Miles has technically done nothing wrong in this scenario—he has not had any alcohol, and he doesn’t even smoke the cigarette he’s holding—but he takes the fall for the Colonel because they are looking for Alaska together. Miles used to be frozen into inaction out of fear of how others would react or treat him, but now he doesn’t even hesitate to risk punishment if doing so helps his friend.
Themes
Loyalty and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Mischief Theme Icon