John Green

Looking for Alaska

  • 81-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 58 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a PhD in English and a Master's degree in Philosophy
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Looking for Alaska Chapters 16-20 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 16 Summary

The Colonel is feeling better by the ninth day of the rainstorm, as he has come to the conclusion that Sara is “a complete and total bitch” (69). He and Miles are attending the World Religions class and Dr. Hyde is talking about the Gospel of Mark; Alaska, meanwhile, has skipped class, though Miles cannot understand why.

Dr. Hyde sets the students their final exam, which asks, “What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and then examine how Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity attempt to answer it.” Miles chooses to ask what happens to human beings after they die, while the Colonel wants to know why “good people get rotten lots in life” (70).

After class, Miles and the Colonel are shocked to see Alaska running towards them in a frenzied state. She tells them that the Weekday Warriors flooded her room and that her copy of The General in His Labyrinth is ruined. The Colonel first makes a joke about this but reassures Alaska that “God will punish the wicked. And before He does, we will” (70). 

Chapter 17 Summary

The rainstorm has now stopped and Miles is lying on the lawn reading a book about the American Civil War. Takumi joins him, and Miles says that he cannot believe the Weekday Warriors flooded Alaska’s room. Takumi, however, says that Alaska is famous for pranking, so, if the Weekday Warriors have a reason to seek payback, they will do so.

Takumi then asks Miles to go for a walk, and Miles is surprised when he says that the Smoking Hole may not be safe. Miles follows him through the woodland, and, after a while, Takumi sits down. He goes on to tell Miles that Alaska ratted on Marya, so she might have told the Eagle about the Smoking Hole. He says that Alaska was caught sneaking out to visit Jake one night and the Eagle offered her two choices: either pack her bags or reveal anything she knew about the other students’ illicit behavior. This prompted her to rat on Marya and Paul.

Takumi comments that…

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