Seeking the Great Perhaps – A Multi-Genre on looking for Alaska

Seeking the Great Perhaps

A Multigenre paper on John Greens Looking for Alaska

By Ella Williams

Table of Contents

Dear reader

Young Culver Creek school student dies in tragic car accident

What Is The Great Perhaps?

Discover Culver Creek

Best Day. Worst Day

Subverting the Patriarchal Paradigm

Dear Miles


Explanation of sources

Work Cited

Dear Reader

Monday, June 5

Dear Reader,

“I go to seek a great perhaps” Those are the famous last words of Francois Rabelais a poet. Miles (Pudge) Halter a young boy who lives a noneventful life spends his time reading biographies and is obsessed with famous last words. Miles wants to find his “great perhaps” and not end up like those he reads about in biographies. Miles leaves his home in Florida to the mysterious world of Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama to find his great perhaps. At Culver Creek, he meets his friends, The smart and witty Colonel, a boy named Takumi, a Young Romanian girl Lara, and the smart, funny, sweet, screwed up Alaska Young down the hall. Alaska pulls Pudge into her world and launches him into his great perhaps.

I had a lot of fun writing this paper. I think If I really wanted to I could make my own multi-genre paper for fun. But even so, I think it was challenging. The most challenging part of writing the paper was actually putting it together. I found it difficult to take a step back and look at how well one piece fits with the other genres or seeing it another way and having to make a few changes to fit the whole paper. I think putting the paper together was almost like putting together a puzzle, you need to first put down the more important puzzle pieces first before putting the harder challenging pieces in the middle. Finding the theme of this story I found was also quite difficult, when you read a story you only see what’s on the surface, you never really see what the writing is made up of and you really need to look and analyse. My favourite part of the whole paper itself was also the hardest and least favourite; I say this because as much as I found it difficult, time consuming and boring, I really enjoyed seeing the end result and was proud of what I have achieved. If I could change anything about it, it might be how much time and thought I had put into writing it. I think I didn’t write how I really felt about it and paid too much attention to whether I thought it looked wrong or If I was doing it right. I should have just wrote what came naturally to me and then worried about if I liked it afterward.

I hope that you the reader will one day find your great perhaps. When you do find it will be one of the most memorable and significant times in your life. Your great perhaps will be the moment your life will change forever whether it be when someone new comes into your life or you find your dream job, or whatever. It will be special and can come at any time. Don’t always look at the past and regret the things you did or didn’t do, experience life in the moment you live in, look to the future, enjoy the little things. I hope that you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.


Ella Williams

Ella Williams

Young Culver Creek school student dies in tragic car accident 

By Ella Williams


ALABAMA – 17-year-old Alaska Young has died yesterday Tuesday night. The Accident happened around 3:40 when she drove straight into an oncoming police cruiser. The crash happened to be on Interstate 65 south of the Culver Creek campus she attended.

Car in flames in Alabama on Interstate 65

Young was drunk when the collision happened. Police investigators believe that she tried making it in between the truck and cruiser ignoring the lights and sirens. Once she was tested for alcohol, it was discovered that her BAL (Blood alcohol level) was point twenty-four enough for her lose focus and become dizzy but not enough to swerve out of the way. The police officer who was involved in the collision said,  “She didn’t tarn. She didn’t brake. She jest hit it. There weren’t no gettin’ her outta that car alive. It fairly well crushed her chest, see” (162).

The officer also mentioned a bouquet of tulips in the car with her that night. “They was flowers in the backseat. Like, from a florist. Tulips” (163). Many of her close friends speculate that it was not an accident, but suicide. Her friends say she often made jokes about suicide, A good friend of Alaska, Chip Martens, said that  “it is a probability that she could have maybe wanted to die with the flowers” … she told me that her parents always put white flowers in her hair when she was little. Maybe she wanted to die with white flowers”.

They had also mentioned that Young was a pretty steady drinker “She had lost, although not recently, her mother. And her drinking, always pretty steady, had definitely increased in the last month of her life,” explained Miles Halter a close friend of Alaska young. Halter said that he had not drunk since the incident “Actually, I hadn’t drunk since that night, and didn’t feel particularly inclined to ever take it up ever again.”

Her close friends had also mentioned the possibility of her missing the anniversary of her mother’s death. That she could have felt guilty about missing the anniversary and panicked about her forgetting it.  Even so, accident or not the tragic death of Alaska Young has left a strong impact on her father, Friends and the community of Culver Creek.

Ella Williams

Ms. Balen


What is the Great Perhaps? 

Many people believe Miles didn’t find his great perhaps yet. But they don’t realise that Miles whole story was about how he found it. Actually, Miles has been experiencing the great perhaps throughout his time at Culver Creek. The Great Perhaps is a perhaps, meaning it’s a moment that is not predestined and is an event in your life that changes you forever; the great perhaps not something you plan to happen or expect to happen, it’s just “perhaps”. In fact, Miles in Looking for Alaska is seeking the great perhaps, by developing friendships and learning new things about himself.

First of all, Miles is growing relationships with new people.  That is, when Miles was living and going to school in Florida he had no friends. For example, For his going away party before he left for Culver Creek, only the two theatre kids he sat with at lunch had come. At, Culver Creek his roommate Chip instantly took a liking to him, gave him his own personal and ironic nickname Pudge, and introduced him to all of his friends and he was soon recognised all around campus.  Therefore, When Miles was in Florida he wasn’t very popular and didn’t have any friends while at Culver Creek he met a lot of new people and made really good, close friends.

Secondly, Miles starts to discover new things about himself that he didn’t know before.  In other words, when he lived in Florida all he really did was attend school and read biographies. For instance, He wanted to go to Culver Creek because he wanted to find his great perhaps. He knew he was living a quiet life and was looking for excitement. He never knew that he would pull one of the greatest pranks in the history of the school. He also never thought he would fall in love with the girl down the hall. So, when Miles moved from Florida to Alabama he got to experience new feelings and made memories he wouldn’t have experienced in Florida.

Therefore, Miles uncovers things about himself that he wouldn’t have known before and meets new people. So, Miles has been able to find the great perhaps. It is important to remember what his life was like before he got to Culver Creek to realise what miles great perhaps was. The way Miles experienced his great perhaps is very different than how other people will experience theirs. It is no wonder that so many had thought he didn’t experience it yet, It’s because everyone experiences the great perhaps differently.


Discover Culver Creek

Best day, Worst day

Top 5 Best Days

  1. Takumi

The day he lost his virginity. Takumi Would have to be very drunk to tell his story.

  1. Alaska

Her best day was when she went to the zoo on a class trip with her mother. She liked the bears and her mom liked the monkeys

  1. Pudge 

His best day was that day, Saturday, January 8, he woke up next to a pretty Romanian girl named Lara Buterskaya on a beautiful cold but not too cold day, drank lukewarm instant coffee and ate cheerios with no cereal. Later Pudge skipped rocks by the creek with Takumi and Alaska. The sun was shining a bright soft glow that made him feel like nothing could ruin the moment.

  1. Lara 

the best day of her life was the day she came to America. When Lara got to America she was the only one in her family that could speak English. Lara’s parents started treating her like a grown up and felt really important when her parents relied on her to translate things

  1. Colonel 

The Colonels best day has not happened yet. The best day of his life happens when he buys a nice big picketed fence home for his mom. Colonel goes into detail about how it will be in Mountain Brook, the neighborhood where the rich people live and that he’s going to pay it all in cash.

Top 5 Worst Days

5. Pudge

When Pudge was in the 7th grade a boy named Tommy Hewitt peed in his gym clothes. On purpose! And his gym teacher forced him to wear them or fail! The boy who had peed in them bragged about what he did after and humiliated Pudge in front of his grade 4 class

  1. The Colonel

The Colonels worst day as the day his dad left him and his mother. Even though Colonel had always somewhat expected it because of his fathers’ old age

  1. Lara

Lara’s worst day was the same day as her best. When she got to America and her parents stopped treating her like a child she lost that part of her. She left everything she had in Romania and had to start a new.

  1. Takumi

The day Takumi was supposed to visit his grandparents in Japan his grandmother had unexpectedly died in a car accident. Instead of going over to Japan for a summer visit he went over for her funeral.  It was the only time he saw her that year.


The very day after her mother took her to the zoo, Alaska found her mother dead on the floor in her kitchen. Alaska’s mom had told her to finish up her homework so she can watch television later but heard a loud thump. Alaska rushed over to the kitchen and found her mom laying on the floor jerking her head. Alaska being only 10 didn’t know what to do sat with her until she stopped. At this point, Alaska thought her mom was okay, that she was better now and sat with her until her dad arrived home. When Alaska’s father got home he yelled at her and blamed her for the death of her mother. It was too late to call 911. She had died of a brain aneurysm.

Subverting the Patriarchal Paradigm

The Colonel gives their hired male stripper an interview before the biggest Alaska memorial prank happens

M: Hi, I’m Maxx

C: I am a nameless and faceless representative of the junior class

*They shake hands*

M: I took this job because I think it was Hilarious, What exactly am I gonna do?

C: A memorial prank for our friend Alaska Young, She is the mastermind behind all of this

M: Ah, I see, I wish I would’ve thought of this when I was in high school Haha

C: Right, Here is the speech look over it quickly *hands him the speech*

C: any questions?

M: given the nature of the event I think Y’all should really pay me in advance

C: *gives Maxx a paper bag with $320* Here you go

C: now Maxx Pudge is going to sit down there with you because in the speech you are friends with his dad. If you happen to be interrogated after, we hope you can find it in your heart to say the whole junior class called and hired you

M: sounds good to me, would want Pudge here to get in any sort of trouble *he laughs*

C: you’re on in about 5 minutes, good luck


What is the Great Perhaps? The Great Perhaps is a Perhaps, there is no clear answer, it is the great truth of life and death. When Miles (Pudge) Halter moved from his safe home in Florida to the Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama he met the beautiful Alaska Young who threw him into the Great Perhaps


Explanation of sources

News Letter 

In the novel, Alaska dies in a car accident, and there were only 2 witnesses, the truck driver and the police. I thought a news article would be a perfect fit for this event because it was a way to clearly communicate how she had died.

Persuasive Essay 

Many peopled had argued about what the Great Perhaps was. So, I decided to write about what I had thought what it meant. I’m still not entirely sure what it was since when I read the novel, but I know how miles experienced it. I wanted to write about it to maybe help me understand what it was and it did.

Promotional School Poster 

This Genre was important. It was to communicate to the readers

Top 10 List 

Two days before Alaskas death, the five friends played a game called Best day, Worst day. They all shared their best day and their worst day. The person with the best day didn’t need to drink while everyone took a shot of vodka, same thing with the worst day. This event was very important because the friends finally got to open up to each other and understand each other better. I chose to do a top 10 list for this event in the story because like the game there was a “winner” and a loser so I decided to rank them. For the best day, I thought Alaska had the best day after she told her worst because I understood why it was her best day: It was the last she got to have fun with her mom. But it felt unfair to do so since how vague it was told and that it was ranked by the best story told. I hope the reader got to understand the characters better the way it did for me.


In the novel, the Colonel, Pudge, Takumi, and Lara planned out a memorial prank for Alaska. The Colonel and Alaska had been partners in crime since freshman year, They planned out the biggest prank for senior year. So, they thought it made sense to do it for a memorial. Kind of like “Alaska’s still with us even without really being here”, they wanted the school to remember her even after they leave. The prank was titled “Subverting the Patriarchal Paradigm”. Subverting the patriarchal was called that because. The whole junior class (Including the “Weekday Warriors”, or “rich kids who do what they want without getting into trouble”) all hired a male stripper for the prank and recommended him for “Speaker Day” (a day where a someone successful would come in and talk), of course the eagle did not hire a stripper but a doctor as a stripper in disguise. This genre was actually quite difficult because it started off as a job interview but at the same time was a casual conversation. I think I had the most fun with this genre and hope you, the reader, enjoyed it too.


Work Cited

Azreey. “File:Car accident – NSE Malaysia.jpg.” Wikimedia Commons. N.p., 9 Feb. 2013. Web. 5 June 2017.

“Free Image on Pixabay – White Flower, Yellow Stamens, Biel.” Free photo: White Flower, Yellow Stamens, Biel – Free Image on Pixabay – 2239321. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2017.

Simak, Evelyn. “Gresham’s Senior Prep (C) Evelyn Simak.” Gresham’s Senior Prep (C) Evelyn Simak:: Geograph Britain and Ireland. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 June 2017.

Green, John. Looking for Alaska. Farmington Hills, Mich: Large Print Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.