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Old 07-30-2016, 01:36 AM View Post #7 (Link)
Dabs (Offline)
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Some spoilers in this response. Read at your own peril, all ye who wish to read the book.

The fact that Alaska is presented as being mysterious and unknowable is why I find her depiction so atrocious and sexist. She is one of too many female characters who are presented in that fashion. Women are not raging hurricanes of mystery and amazingness. They're people with strengths and flaws, and they are just as knowable as men. I'm not angry that they can't tell whether Alaska committed suicide or not. I think that's a compelling conflict. It's everything else about Alaska that frustrates me. Even if she were portrayed as a troubled girl who doesn't know what she wants, that, to me, is better than romanticizing her character to the point where she feels more like an idea than a person.

A well defined character, to me, is one whose thoughts are understandable, yet they have the ability to be surprising. It's been a while since I read the book, but I don't recall Alaska being like that. John Green simply didn't dig deeply enough into her character to really allow us to understand her. I mean, I get she's tortured because of a certain event in her past (not naming because of spoilers). But to me, it just didn't illuminate enough of her, just this one aspect of her. And it's not like every last facet of her personality needs a deep explanation, but you, as a reader, need to have a sense that she is the way she is for a purpose, whether it's fully explained or not, and the only aspect of her that gets an explanation of some sort (and not, in my opinion, a good one) is that tragic detail that explains why she's depressed and why she may have possibly committed suicide.
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