Character language


Alaska's language

The characters in John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska are characterized by their language. Alaska is introduced to us in her first appearance as talking fast and a lot. When Miles and the Colonel come into her room, she immediately starts talking (p. 18). The rapid pace of her speech is illustrated by long sentences and, in this situation, made clear by polysyndeton: the sentences are divided by commas and each sub-sentence is introduced by “and”: “and we’re at his house watching TV on the couch—and mind you, I’m already dating Jake—actually I’m still dating him, miraculously enough, but Justin is a friend of mine from when I was a kid and so we’re watching TV and literally chatting about the SATs or something, and Justin puts his arm around me and I think, Oh that’s nice, we’ve been friends for so long and this is totally comfortable, and we’re just chatting and then I’m in the middle of a sentence about analogies or something and like a hawk he reaches down and he honks my boob.” (p. 18).

In addition, interruptions in her narration occur here, which are marked by dashes. This illustrates her impetuous nature. She often says something without an introduction to the topic or takes mental leaps, "Rather than answering my question, she remarked, “So I hear...

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