What is the main topic of the novel Looking for Alaska?

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

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One main topic of Looking for Alaska is the creation and cultivation of personal relationships. Pudge, the protagonist, is a loner and not looking to make personal relationships; he is is more interested in finding his own personal purpose, which he calls "the Great Perhaps." However, because of the friendships he develops, Pudge realizes that he can't live in a bubble; he needs friends and family to support him and to make his goals and desires mean something.

I was after a Great Perhaps, and they knew as well as I did that I wasn't going to find it with the likes of Will and Marie.

It takes time for Pudge to come out of his shell and become a functioning member of society. He is so wrapped up in his inner thoughts that he fails to connect in a substantive way to his friends; after the tragedy, his horizons are expanded and his thinking becomes more complex.

Someday no one will remember that she ever existed, I wrote in my notebook, and then, or that I did. Because memories fall apart too.
(Green, Looking for Alaska, Google Books)

It is these realizations that allow Pudge to grow as a person. He understands, too late, that it is his relationships with others that really matters, not his idealistic goals that may or may not come to fruition. While he might never become someone of significance, as long as he has good friends, and as long as he matters to them, he will never truly be forgotten.

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maria-vivanco | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The main topic is finding the "Great perhaps" and the question that Alaska asks herself "how will i ever get out of this labyrinth" Pudge states in the beginning of the novel that he went to the college to wseek the "Great PErhaps" which is what we all want in our lives. WE all want to feel complete and find that one point in our life where everything makes sense. All the events that happen in the book connect to the fact that there is more to life than any one person can experience. WE never truly understand what happens to us and the people we have and WHY it happens; we just have to accept them, good or bad. 

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