“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive” (Green 218). In John Green’s, Looking for Alaska, Alaska and her friends are searching for the way of the “labyrinth” while finding their Great Perhaps at the same time.
All of the characters in Looking for Alaska, especially Pudge are trying to find their Great Perhaps during the duration of the novel. For example, when Pudge learns he is going to attend Culver Creek, he thinks that he will be able to find his Great Perhaps at the new school. Pudge lived a life at his public school with a few friends with no excitement. He thinks with a new school and new people he will be able to achieve his Great Perhaps. “That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps” (Green 5). Miles knows that with a fresh start and away from his old public he will have a better chance of finding his Great Perhaps. Once Pudge meets Alaska he thinks that she is his Great Perhaps and she is the girl he is supposed to be with. Alaska is also seeking a Great Perhaps. She tries many things that Alaska thinks that will change her life and help her find her Great Perhaps. For example, she drinks excessively, she has sex, and she takes chances with her life. Alaska thinks that with all of these things she is trying and doing, she will be able to find her Great Perhaps even though she may be clouding it. When Alaska meets Pudge he is only another bump in the road. She likes Pudge, and thinks of him as a friend but Pudge thinks it is so much more. If Alaska did not do the things that she did, she may have never gotten in that car accident which may of let her live to her Great Perhaps. Alaska struggles her whole life about the issue of getting out of the labyrinth, even though she never will. Pudge and other characters in Looking for Alaska worry about their Great Perhaps and getting out of the labyrinth. “How will I ever get out of this Labyrinth! To a margin note written in her loop-heavy cursive: Straight and Fast” (Green 155).
Pudge and the Colonel both are trying to get out of the labyrinth by the Culver Creek School. Pudge avoids his public school life by moving to Culver Creek and finding his Great Perhaps. The Colonel lives in a trailer park with his mom and he wants to get out of that labyrinth by getting good grades. He would then get a good job, so he would be able to move his mom. The Colonel is just along for the ride with Alaska and Takumi but then Pudge joins the scene making it complicated. All of the characters in this novel all struggle with finding their true selves and getting out of the labyrinth while finding their Great Perhaps. Alaska has the most problems with getting out of the labyrinth. At first Alaska thinks that the only way out is to make her own house inside of the labyrinth. “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present” (Green 54).
Alaska spends a lot of her time worrying about what her future will be like and what she should be doing differently. Alaska struggles about the death of her mom and how she could have done it differently. In the end, this actually led to her death. Alaska worries about how she screws up everything and how she should be better which makes her drive drunk. This lets her escape the labyrinth straight and fast. If Alaska would have kept her cool or not have been drunk she would not have died. Alaska was more of a complex person than Pudge and they both knew that. “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane” (Green 88).
During the novel the character are all searching for their Great Perhaps and their way out of the labyrinth. John Green does a fantastic job of conveying an interesting plot while making it fun to read at the same time. All of the characters have different ways of finding these things and work out differently. This novel is important because it shows how we as people can see life in different ways and it can be lived in different ways.