John named Pudge by his friends, who enrolls

John Green, an American novelist, wrote the award-winning novel, Looking For Alaska. The story is told through a teen named Miles, later named Pudge by his friends, who enrolls in a boarding school to find a deeper perspective on life. Alaska Young, who Miles falls deeply in love with, is also a main character. She is a driving force in his life, so when her life is taken by a car crash, Miles is determined to go Looking for Alaska. He looks for evidence that will prove what Alaska’s cause of death actually was.John Green references multiple poems in his writing, one being W.H. Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening.” John Green and W.H. Auden’s texts reveal that Time, this human construct, influences so much of our lives. Many such themes such as death and suffering due to the consequences of time can be seen in both Auden’s poem and John Green’s novel. Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening” takes place on a nature walk. The story is told from the poet’s point of view and the lover speaking to their beloved. The parts are distinguished by quotation marks, the lover speaking being in them. The lover says to their beloved, “I’ll love you, dear, I’ll Love You / Till China and Africa Meet…” (Auden “As I Walked Out One Evening” 9-10). He continues his praise by saying, “I’ll love till the ocean / Is folded and hung up to dry…” (Auden “As I Walked Out One Evening” 16-17). The lover’s beloved does not respond to this, but they continue on their walk nonetheless. The last two lines read, “The clocks had ceased their chiming, / And the deep river ran on.” Auden ends this poem on a pessimistic note. He describes the clocks as broken, or not working and says that life will still go on, even though the lover’s beloved does not reciprocate their feelings. Lines 22 to 24 state, ” ‘O let not Time deceive you, / You cannot conquer Time,” meaning that all the love in the world can’t stop time. Time is personified, and who is better at speaking about time than a clock? Looking For Alaska shows deep suffering due to time. The book takes place over several months and is broken down by days. In the after section of the book, specifically twenty-one days after, Miles tells us a story about a poor Sufi dressed in rags in a jewelry store. The Sufi asks the Merchant, “Do you know how you’re going to die?” The merchant answered, “No. No one knows how they’re going to die.” And the Sufi said, “I do.” The merchant, confused, asked, “How?” The Sufi layed down on the floor, and said, “Like this.” He died on the spot (Green 173). This story shows that death can be unexpected. Alaska died one hundred thirty-six days after the book starts due to a car accident. This police car was in the exact right place, at the right time. Everything aligned up at the right time for Alaska, her thoughts, the police car, and the fact that she was drunk.When Pudge questions why Alaska smokes cigarettes so quickly, she responds by saying “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die” (44). This claim gives the reader insight into the fast-paced fashion in which Alaska lives, it also possibly indicates an affinity that Alaska has with the death drive. There were several accounts of foreshadowing her death, most of them being remarks by Alaska herself: “She smiled with all the delight of a kid on Christmas morning and said, “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die”” (44). She also says, “I may die young,” she said. “But at least I’ll die smart” (52). She speaks of her death as something that cannot be avoided, as if she knows that she is going to die one way or another. Considering that the book counts down from the start, I can conclude that time, although not physically, killed Alaska. Alaska, had talking about her impending death, coupled with the fact that the book counts down to her death, shows that time eventually leads to suffering and grief. Alaska says, “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present” (54). What is significant about this passage is that Alaska clearly believes that there is no way of escaping the labyrinth that we are stuck in. This passage is full of pessimism, to the point where Alaska seems lost. Alaska views suffering as eternal, timeless, but because of all the negativity and pessimism, she is unable to visualize a different reality. A reality where time controls how long you suffer and that suffering isn’t eternal. A reality where there is happiness, friends, and no mention of the labyrinth, like a distraction. When Alaska died, we didn’t know whether it was suicide or accidental. While the novel suggests that death is the only way out if the labyrinth, it is interesting to see the novel emphasize the labyrinth in our everyday life. Originally, Miles thinks that the only way to cope with the labyrinth of suffering was by pretending “that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home” (219). At the end of the book, Miles realizes that the labyrinth and life are inseparable. He realizes that suffering is a part of life, that he will eventually get over Alaska, after a period of grief. In his final essay, Miles says, “I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget…” (219). They will eventually, as bad as it sounds, forget about Alaska. Time will cloud their brains and they will not remember the gorgeous, clever, and funny Alaska Young. I personally have never thought of time as this sort of evil, until I read Looking For Alaska and “As  I Walked Out One Evening.” The references of time are very subtle but were very significant to me. The thought of time being a main factor in our lives really interested me. Miles writes in his essay, “Thomas Edison’s last words were, ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful” (221). Unlike Miles, I like to think that I know where there is, and I agree, it is beautiful, and it is somewhere, but we will only get there with time.