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What is an example of the author's style in Looking for Alaska?

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olivia0309 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted August 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM via web

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What is an example of the author's style in Looking for Alaska?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:23 PM (Answer #1)

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John Green's style in Looking for Alaska is simple and direct. He doesn't waste words on flowery prose and metaphor, instead speaking directly to the reader as a reasonably-educated teen would. The novel is first-person past-tense, which makes the narration seem like a story told after the fact, with Pudge the narrator telling the reader what happened and why, with the benefits of hindsight. One telling passage comes early, when Pudge goes to quote François Rabelais, the 16th century writer:

I liked reading biographies of writers, even if (as was the case with Monsieur Rabelais) I'd never read any of their actual writing.
(Green, Looking for Alaska, Google Books)

Instead of quoting extensive passages and pretending to know more than the reader, Pudge casually mentions that he's less interested in the writing than in the writer. This is realistic; although he likes to impress with reciting the final words of historical figures, that is all he learns about their work. He speaks in casual, sometimes run-on sentences, and uses common expressions instead of grammatically perfect English. With this simplicity of style, Green connects better with the reader, avoiding confusion and boredom.

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