“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green Summary, Analysis, Characters & Themes

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About the Novel: The Fault In Our Stars

TitleThe Fault in Our Stars
AuthorJohn Green
GenreYoung Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publication DateJanuary 10, 2012
SettingContemporary Indianapolis, Amsterdam

Analysis:The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green is a heartwarming yet tragic novel that follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenage girl with cancer, as she navigates the challenges of her illness and falls in love with Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer patient.

The novel looks into the emotional and physical struggles faced by Hazel and Augustus, offering a realistic portrayal of the impact of illness on individuals and their relationships. Green skillfully weaves humor and wit into the narrative, creating a balance between the serious subject matter and moments of lightheartedness.

One of the strengths of the novel is its portrayal of characters who are not defined by their illnesses but rather by their personalities and dreams. Hazel and Augustus are relatable and endearing, making it easy for readers to connect with their journey.

The title, “The Fault in Our Stars,” is derived from a Shakespearean quote and serves as a metaphor for the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of life. The novel encourages readers to reflect on the inevitability of pain and loss but also emphasizes the importance of finding meaning and joy in the midst of adversity.

Characters:The Fault In Our Stars

The characters of “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green are:

  1. Hazel Grace Lancaster: The protagonist of the story, Hazel is a teenage girl with thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs. She is intelligent, witty, and loves reading.
  2. Augustus Waters (Gus): Augustus is a charming and confident teenage boy who becomes Hazel’s love interest. He is in remission from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
  3. Isaac: Isaac is Augustus’s best friend and a cancer survivor. He is dealing with the loss of his sight due to the disease.
  4. Mrs. Lancaster (Mom): Hazel’s caring and supportive mother who worries about Hazel’s well-being.
  5. Mr. Lancaster (Dad): Hazel’s father, who is also supportive and caring towards Hazel.

Themes:The Fault In Our Stars

The themes of “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green are:

  1. Love and Loss: The novel looks into the complexities of love, especially in the face of terminal illness, and how it can both enrich and complicate our lives.
  2. Existentialism: The characters confront existential questions about the meaning of life, death, and the impact they have on the world around them.
  3. Identity and Self-Discovery: The protagonists, Hazel and Gus, navigate their identities and discover who they are in the midst of their personal challenges and the limitations imposed by illness.
  4. Friendship: The novel highlights the importance of friendships and how they provide support, understanding, and comfort during difficult times.
  5. Life’s Impermanence: The story grapples with the transient nature of life and how individuals come to terms with their mortality and the unpredictability of the future.

Video Summary of “The Fault In Our Stars”

The Fault In Our StarsSummary 

Hazel Grace Lancaster, 17, goes to her mother’s cancer sufferers’ support group against her will. She needs to utilize a portable oxygen tank to breathe correctly due to her cancer. During one of the sessions, she makes eye contact with a teenage guy, who she later finds out is named Augustus Waters. He is there to provide his support to Isaac, a mutual buddy. Isaac had a tumor removed from one eye, and now he needs to have the other eye removed as well. Augustus approaches Hazel after the meeting and remarks that she reminds him of Natalie Portman from V for Vendetta.

Hazel accepts his invitation to see the movie in his place, and as they hang together, they talk about their own experiences with cancer. Hazel discloses that she has lung metastases from thyroid cancer. Augustus suffered osteosarcoma, but after having his leg removed, he is now cancer-free. Augustus and Hazel decide to read each other’s favorite books before he drives her home. Hazel is given The Price of Dawn by Augustus, and she suggests An Imperial Affliction.

Hazel describes An Imperial Affliction’s splendor as follows: The book is about a girl named Anna who is diagnosed with cancer; it’s the first story she’s read about a disease that remotely resembles her own. She explains how the book frustratingly stops in the middle of a sentence, leaving the reader with no sense of closure about the characters’ fates. She makes assumptions about the work’s enigmatic creator, Peter Van Houten, who disappeared to Amsterdam following the book’s publication and hasn’t been heard from since.

A week after Hazel and Augustus debate An Imperial Affliction’s literary significance, Augustus amazingly discloses that he located Van Houten’s assistant, Lidewij, and that it was because of her that he was able to initiate an email exchange with the reclusive writer. Hazel creates a list of inquiries to email Van Houten to clarify the novel’s unclear ending when he gives her a copy of his letter. Hazel is mostly worried about what will happen to Anna’s mother.

She reasoned that her parents would be okay once Hazel passed away since Anna’s mother survived the death of her daughter. When Van Houten does respond, he says he could only address Hazel’s inquiries face-to-face. If she’s ever in Amsterdam, he asks her to visit.

Augustus asks Hazel to a picnic shortly after. As it happens, he has organized a lavish picnic with a Dutch theme, during which he discloses that a nonprofit organization that fulfills the dreams of children diagnosed with cancer has agreed to fulfill his own: he is taking the two of them to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten. Although she is ecstatic, she hesitates for some reason as he touches her face. She grows to like him over time, but she also understands that when she passes away, she will harm him. She likens herself to an explosive device.

Hazel had a severe episode when her lungs filled with fluid and she was sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) while she struggled with what to do about Augustus. After a few days, she is freed and finds out that Augustus never left the hospital waiting area. He gives Hazel another letter from Van Houten, one that is more mysterious and intimate than the last one. Hazel is more motivated than ever to visit Amsterdam after reading the letter.

But there’s a catch: Hazel’s medical staff and parents don’t believe she’s strong enough to go. Before one of the doctors who knows Hazel’s condition the best, Dr. Maria persuades Hazel’s parents that Hazel has to travel to live her life, the situation appears bleak.

Plans are made for Augustus to travel to Amsterdam with Hazel and her mother. However, when Hazel and Augustus visit Van Houten, they discover that, far from being a creative genius, he is a rude, inebriated man who says he is unable to respond to any of Hazel’s inquiries. After leaving Van Houten’s in complete disappointment, the two explore Anne Frank’s home with Lidewij, who is appalled by Van Houten’s actions. To the cheers of onlookers, Augustus and Hazel share a passionate kiss as the tour concludes. Returning to the hotel, they had their first and only kiss there. 

The next day, Augustus admitted that he got a body scan while Hazel was in the intensive care unit and that the results showed his cancer had come back and spread throughout his body. When they go back to Indianapolis, Hazel discovers that Augustus is now the explosive. His usual charm and assurance are less evident as his condition deteriorates. Even when he gets afraid and fragile, Hazel still thinks of him as a lovely child. She starts referring to him as just Gus, as his parents do and stops naming him Augustus at this point. Hazel acknowledges that her love for him is stronger than ever. Augustus’s health rapidly declines. 

Augustus plans a prefuneral for himself in his last days, and Hazel and Isaac provide eulogies. Hazel appropriates a sentence about greater and smaller infinities from Van Houten. She declares her love for Augustus and states that she would give anything in the world to extend their brief relationship.

It takes Augustus eight days to die. When Hazel discovers Van Houten at the burial, she is shocked. Van Houten claims that he kept in touch with Gus through writing and that Augustus had Van Houten come to his burial so he could see Hazel make up for spoiling the trip to Amsterdam. Hazel is uninterested when Van Houten divulges Anna’s mother’s fate abstractly. Isaac tells Hazel that Augustus was writing something for her a few days later.

Van Houten reappears to Hazel as she frantically searches for the chapters of the sequel he had suggested he was writing for her. He discloses inebriatedly that his daughter’s name was Anna. An Imperial Affliction was his literary attempt to come to terms with her death—she passed away from cancer when she was eight years old. Van Houten is advised by Hazel to become clean and publish another book.

Hazel eventually finds out that Augustus sent Van Houten the pages so that Van Houten could use them to write a beautiful eulogy for Hazel. Van Houten is made to read the pages by Lidewij, who then sends them directly to Hazel. As the book comes to a close, Hazel reads Augustus’s remarks. He believes that although suffering hurts are unavoidable in this life, we have the freedom to decide who can cause us pain, and he is content with his decision. He hopes her decision appeals to her as well. In the book’s last lines, Hazel asserts that she does.

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