Miles Halter was going to attend a boarding school in Alabama, leaving his family and Florida behind. His mother forced him into throwing a going-away party, believing that Miles just hides that he was popular in school. He wasn’t, however, and no one attended the party, except for two people who seemed insignificant to him. When he was asked why he was going, he said: Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps. (5) Miles, too, was searching for The Great Perhaps so he decided to go to a boarding school. He was finding individuality, and he thought that his “friends” weren’t the right people to be with to get himself where he wanted to be. Miles liked reading biographies of famous people and he often memorized their last words. He believed that the last words of the person defined them.
After arriving at the Culver Creek Preparatory School, he unpacked his things in Room 43, whom he shared with Chip Martin, who liked to be called the Colonel. He gave Miles the nickname “Pudge”, ironically because he was tall and skinny. The Colonel later introduced Alaska Young, described as a very attractive girl, although emotionally unstable, whom Pudge seemed to like as soon as he saw her. She had a boyfriend, however, named Jake. They went to swing by the lake while they smoked, which Pudge didn’t normally do, but tried anyway because he was basically no one in his earlier school, even if he wanted to be someone. So he gave in to pressure, thinking that it’s the way to fit in.
Alaska told him about the book The General in His Labyrinth, which was about Simón Bolívar, whose last words were “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” Pudge thought it was interesting. Alaska says, “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you...
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