Miles Halter

Miles Halter

    Looking for Alaska

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... mostly in his own head. Florida-based Miles has a good relationship with his parents, but he’s always struggled to make friends at school.

Visiting... Culver Creek Academy in Alabama. Hoping for a fresh start, Miles transfers to his dad’s alma mater at the start of his junior year. The boarding school isn’t exactly the paradise he imagined (for one thing, none of the dorm rooms have air conditioning!), but he soon makes a friend in his boisterous roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin. The Colonel jokingly nicknames Miles “Pudge” because he’s so skinny and gangly.

Profession... student, and a pretty good one too. Miles fits right in at the academically driven Culver Creek. He even enjoys the lectures of his aging religion teacher Dr. Hyde, which tend to put everyone else to sleeping.

Interests... memorizing famous people’s last words. It’s a bit of a weird hobby, but Miles loves learning what famous figures of history said on their deathbeds, even if that’s the only thing he knows about them.

Relationship Status... painfully single. Miles doesn’t have much experience in the love department, but he develops an instant crush on free-spirited, emotionally Alaska Young. Alaska has a boyfriend, however, so she encourages Miles to go out with their sweet Romanian classmate, Lara Buterskaya. Though Miles enjoys spending time with Lara, it’s nothing compared to the feelings he has for Alaska.

Challenge... figuring out the meaning of life. It’s a pretty big challenge for a teenager, but Miles doesn’t think of himself as an average high schooler. He’s motivated by the last words of Renaissance poet François Rabelais: "I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” Miles thinks Culver Creek, or maybe even Alaska herself, could be his Great Perhaps. Alaska, meanwhile, asks for his help interpreting the last words of political leader Simón Bolívar: "Damn it. How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!" Is the labyrinth life, death, or something else entirely? Miles is determined to figure it out, all while dealing with his heavy course load, his complicated romantic life, and an escalating series of campus prank wars.

Personality... shy, gawky, and intellectual. Though Miles is naturally a quiet, introverted loner, he’s hoping to use his time at Culver Creek to expand his personality. That means breaking some rules, having some fun, and hopefully making some friends in the process.


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