John Green, Jane Austen and Famous Last Words

The recent controversy over a John Green book in Florida piqued my interest, so when I found another of his books -“Looking for Alaska” – for $4.99 on my iPad, I bought and read it on my next flight. Green uses his own experiences as fodder for an inside glimpse of high schoolers at boarding school. This young adult book was entertaining, thoughtful, and – yes – it made me cry. Probably more appropriate for high schoolers than middle school grade, yet these days fourth graders seem to know more about sex than most of us did as college freshman.

Pudge, the hero of the story, collects the dying words of the famous, and Green sprinkles the story with quotes – two define the characters and their futures:

“I go to seek the Great Perhaps”…Francois Rabelais

“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”…Simon Bolivar

With famous last words on my mind, I attended the matinee of “Sense and Sensibility” at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. In the opening scene, father Dashwood responds to his insensitive son’s query about his health with “I’m dying…” and soon after nods off. Good last lines are hard to come by.

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2 thoughts on “John Green, Jane Austen and Famous Last Words

  1. stacybuckeye

    I loved reading all the famous last words in Looking For Alaska. I was listening so I didn’t get to note them but they were one of my favorite parts.

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