Setting plays a couple important roles in Looking for Alaska. One of the main reasons it is important is because it is a private school, which really sets up the personalities of most of the characters. They all live with a roommate alone on campus. There isn’t a crazy amount of supervision, there is mostly just trust. The lack of supervision causes the students to become sneaky. They spend the majority of their time wandering around to hiding spots to smoke cigarettes. Also, on some weekends they find ways to get drunk and have really small parties. Even though the lack of supervision pushes them to be more on the bad, sneaky side, it also pushes them to be much more responsible. They are responsible for getting themselves up and running through their schedules. There are no parents bossing them around and telling them what to do.
Characters are revealed through the setting because it shows how the students act without their parents or many adults around. Pudge is the main character and he starts off in the book living at home as the only child. We slowly see him change as the setting of the school rubs off on him. He starts to smoke cigarettes very often and even gets drunk, which in the beginning of the story he says he didn’t plan on doing. Alaska is the one that smokes and drinks the most. She sells cigarettes to other students and has secret hiding places for things throughout the campus. The Colonel is an average student, smoking a decent amount and drinking sometimes by himself and other times at parties. There is a group labeled the “Weekday Warriors”, which are the students who go home every weekend. They are considered the rich kids and don’t get along with the kids that stay on campus all the time. The setting helps reveal that they must be pretty rich because they can travel back and forth every weekend, and they are already paying for a private school.
An example of when the setting had a big impact on the story, was when Alaska, the Colonel, and Pudge were all drunk in her dorm room. Once they fell asleep, Alaska got up and drove off campus where she got in a car accident and died. The setting with no parental vision affected her being able to get up and drive off with no one stopping her, even though Pudge and the Colonel could have stopped her.