Alaska's labyrinth

The labyrinth of life

One of the most important ideas in Looking for Alaska by John Green is that of the labyrinth. Alaska is interested in Miles's passion for last words. She herself has been thinking for some time about the last words of Simón Bolívar, which she found in the historical novel The General in His Labyrinth by the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, Gabriel García Márquez.  In the novel, Simón Bolívar says as he is dying, "How am I going to get out of this labyrinth?". When Alaska learns of Miles's passion, she immediately turns to him and wants him to solve the riddle of what the labyrinth is. " ‘That’s the mystery, isn’t it? Is the labyrinth living or dying? Which is he trying to escape—the world or the end of it?’ " (p. 22).

Alaska does not know at this point what the labyrinth means to her. Does the labyrinth symbolize life, in w...

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