Week Three Discussion (Audrey)

Hello, everyone! Another week, another section, and this week I'm here to lead the discussion!
So, to quickly recap, Alaska was killed in a car crash, and now Pudge and Colonel are going about their time grieving and looking for answers as to what happened to her.

Now I have some questions for you.

  • What do you think happened to Alaska? The Eagle said there was a jackknifed car and that she ran into it. Was she asleep? Was she drunk and her motor skills were hindered? Was she suicidal? I'm curious to see what you think. John Green himself said he doesn't know what happened, so I know everyone's opinion will be different and there are no wrong answers.
  • What is the symbolism behind the "straight & fast" note in Alaska's book? Why did she write it in after her room was flooded?
  • Pudge makes a lot of remarks on page 156 about why Alaska would have killed herself. ("About hurting me? About wanting me and not him?"/"...not thinking of her promise to me, not thinking of her father or anyone, and that bitch, that bitch, she killed herself.") Is this justified? Explain.


Kathy Z said...

As for what happened to Alaska, I think I understand where she's coming from. She is clearly severely depressed. If I were in her position - extremely upset for some yet unknown reason and extremely drunk and having suffered for so long - I would probably do exactly what she did. For me, I spend a lot of time when I'm driving thinking about the fact that I could choose to end my life just like that. While I'm not actually suicidal, the thoughts are there. Now, translated to her position... She is suicidal, even if she tries to hide it through witty jokes and a mask so she looks less depressed. She's suicidal and extremely upset and extremely drunk and in a car going at least 70 miles per hour and there's a very convenient, easy, fast way to die right in front of her. It's so much effort to swerve. Physically, it's nothing. Emotionally, it's overcoming the idea that she's worthless and screwed up everything. And that's not something you can do in the state she's in. She knew she was going to die.

Well, "straight & fast" was either a heck of a premonition or a description of how she wants to die. It's clear that her depression worsens as the book continues, as she opens up more to Pudge, and after the room flooded she could have been thinking a lot about death and how she wanted to die.

Well, they're very hurtful remarks should Alaska ever hear them. They're very selfish on Pudge's part, but for the most part understandable from his point of view.

Autumn Skye said...

Unfortunately, it was a little selfish on Alaska's part. But it wash't just a normal kind of depression if there even is one. Sure, depression is common in teenagers. Alaska however has some other reasons. She had/has a really hard terrible life. Constantly throughout the book she says such bitter comments. Alaska "..smokes to die" I can relate to such an emotion. I used to be such an incredibly bitter person. I've found it's healthier not to be. It's hard, I still have a lot of it left over. So familiar was such a personally hurtful statement, with a smirk, and a laugh at how hilarious it was. The only thing was, it wasn't. So I can identify with such bitterness. My best friend could only describe it as an ugly smirk and a barking laugh. Perhaps a peer insulted me, I'd say something along the lines of you're not wrong, followed by I lost the only boy i loved, it must be true. He'd still be here if his mom didn't think I was the devil. I could only imagine Alaska with an ugly curl on her mouth, laughing to herself that everyone, socially smoked, and she just waited for it to kill her.

In Alaska's last moment, I don't believe she saw anyone she loved, except for all the reasons she knew as to why she should die, she saw her opening and took it. You cannot slowly way to die, to get out of the Labyrinth. You're still in it while waiting to die. You're still suffering. The only way to survive in it, is forgiveness. I think Alaska could forgive herself as soon as she died after making the mistake of letting her mother's life go. And so she went "straight and fast". You can understand where she's coming form. It certainly does not justify her leading all of her friends but you do know where she came from.

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