In our Perspectives section we take a look at the origins of the novel Looking for Alaska by John Green. Then, under the autobiographical influences, we look at how John Green's personal experiences were incorporated into the novel. The young adult novel partly contains autobiographical elements and it’s particularly interesting to understand these.
John Green, the author of Looking for Alaska was himself an outsider as a teenager like Miles Halter, the main character and narrator of the story. Things only got better when he transferred to the Indian Springs School boarding school near Birmingham, Alabama. The fictional school Culver Creek in the novel is a kind of replica of Green’s private school in Alabama. Green writes on his website that a girl in his year also died. He stresses, however, that he did not have such a close relationship with her as Miles and Alaska have, but her death affected him deeply.
After talking about the origins and the autobiographical features in the novel, we’ll describe the reception of the novel. In addition to positive voices, the novel also got some controversies. We will also mention the TV adaptation.
Additionally, we will discuss the American school system and high school life in order to provide an understanding of the setting of the story. This section thus provides useful background information to better understand the novel.