The book “looking for Alaska” by John Green is not just a book, it’s much more than that. The book starts with the boring and monotonous life of Miles Halter who is getting ready to go to junior high school. There he bumps into hot, impulsive and rather mysterious Alaska Young, a teenage girl. Life of Miles Halter changes completely as he discovers the secret of mysterious Alaska.
Alaska was young when her mother died of aneurysm. She was there at that time when her mother got an attack but she didn’t call an ambulance as she was so afraid. When her father came home, he was shocked to know that his wife is no more and asks Alaska that why didn’t she diall 911.
While intoxicated she opens up about all this to her friends- Miles, Chip, Takumi and Lara. Miles concludes that her mother’s death has made Alaska impulsive, rash, wild and unpredictable. He understood when Alaska said to him that she had failed everyone what she meant. She was guilt ridden about not dialling 911 when her mother was about to die.
Later in the book, Alaska dies because of rash driving as she suddenly remembers while talking to her boyfriend on phone that it was the date when her mother died and she had to put white lilies on her mother’s grave and in that guilt she might have committed suicide.
In the last, while remembering Alaska, Miles chalks out the way out of the labyrinth of suffering, labyrinth that Alaska asked him to figure out.
Miles halter states that the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive. It is not that by feeling guilty of what we have done, we have to push ourselves into self-destruct and punish ourselves for that very guilt.
I feel this book relates to the life of everyone. We all have some guilt. We all live in a labyrinth but don’t know how to get out of it. We just pretend that the labyrinth does not exist as Miles felt. But it’s not true. Someday or the other we have to forgive ourselves as god forgives us. We cannot live our life by punishing ourselves every day, every hour and every minute for that guilt.
We know that even if others may not forgive us we ought to forgive ourselves to move on in life. We cannot just cry over and over again for not meeting the expectations or the duties we were ought to do in past. Past is gone and future awaits for us.
I know it is very difficult to love ourselves after we have done something bad with somebody we love. But we should not worry. I know whom we love will forgive us someday but it is never too late to forgive ourselves.
This labyrinth of suffering will exist. We cannot ease that pain of guilt but can slowly get out of the labyrinth of suffering by valuing our life and forgiving ourselves.
This book unveils the beautiful message of love, friendship and forgiveness. So what’s your way out of the labyrinth of suffering?