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Looking for Alaska Chapters 56-58 Summary & Analysis
Chapter 56 Summary
The Colonel and Miles have now thrown themselves into their schoolwork, and their room becomes a study den for both themselves and Takumi and Lara. No one talks much during this time, but, according to Miles, they have no need to do so.
Chapter 57 Summary
Dr. Hyde gives the students their final exam of the semester, and the question is as follows: “How will you—you personally—ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? Now that you’ve wrestled with three major religious traditions, apply your newly enlightened mind to Alaska’s question.” Dr. Hyde says that the founder figures of the major religions each brought “a message of radical hope” (215), so the question for the students is where they find their cause for hope.
When Miles asks the Colonel how they will ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering, he replies that he wishes he knew. When Miles points out that he has to write something, the Colonel says that straight and fast seems the only way out. Alaska was right about that, but the Colonel chooses the labyrinth; even with its suffering.
Chapter 58 Summary
It is two weeks later and nearly time for the summer vacation when Miles spots a note left for him and the Colonel by Takumi. The note reveals that Takumi had seen Alaska on the night of her death, having heard her crying outside his window. She told him that it was the anniversary of her mothers’ death and that she usually put flowers on the grave but had forgotten this year. She said that she was out searching for flowers but the weather was too wintry. It seemed as though she was looking to Takumi to say and do the right things, but he was at a loss.
Takumi writes that he had not known that Alaska was going to drive away and had thought that she would probably cry some more before going to sleep. Still, like the Colonel and Miles, he let her go that night and he feels guilty about it. He had kept this a secret because he was mad at…