2018 NOVEL PAPER
QUESTION: Analyse how the ending of the text reinforced or challenged your understanding of one or more ideas.
Note: “Ideas” may refer to character, theme, or setting.
Life is fragile. John Green’s best-selling novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ plays a significant role in the importance of love within the pain and suffering from cancer through the eyes of Hazel Grace Lancaster. John Green uses language features such as metaphors to pinpoint a wider understanding of the theme of love within pain and suffering for the reader and our reality.
‘The Fault in Our Stars’ represents the story of the protagonist 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster - who is diagnosed with stage 4 terminal Thyroid cancer which had spread to her lungs, forcing her to live her life off an oxygen tank. Hazel is advised to attend a support group but is reluctant to. When she decides it’s reasonable to attend, she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus Waters is a former 17-year-old high school basketball player who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma and has lost his left leg. Hazel and Augustus’s relationship is filled with a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the novel which is attributed to their differences in the theme of love within pain and suffering.
An example of the theme of love within pain and suffering that strengthens the reader’s understanding is the example of Hazel’s written eulogy to Augustus. Before Augustus dies from his cancer, he wants to attend his own pre-funeral so he would be able to hear his longtime friend Isaacs, and Hazel’s eulogy. The theme of love within pain and suffering is recognised as quoted by Hazel, “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. The purpose of an infinity is that its concept doesn’t have a bound. The reader interprets infinity as a metaphor in the quote, an infinity as an endless mathematical number bigger than a natural number such as 1,2,3,4, or 5. The meaning behind the quote represents that no matter how many drugs and medications they could give Hazel and Augustus, their deaths were unavoidable, the days they are alive feel endless because they repeat the same routine each day. Hazel and Augustus accept that there won’t be a next time like the rest of us. Because they are young and in love, they acknowledge the pain that they are unable to spend their future together the way most people can. Physically Hazel’s life is getting shorter, time will tell when her body will physically give up, and her body is gradually weakening each day before she dies. Despite her daily suffering her life also feels longer because of the moments she has cherished with Augustus. Hazel develops a long and meaningful life with Gus almost like an infinity, but in reality, it’s in such a short period of time. The author’s purpose to the reader is to think about the moments in our relationships, friendships, or even acquaintances. For Hazel and Augustus, even though it may be for a short or limited period of time, John Green conveys to the reader that cherished moments will always be meaningful or impactful, in that they feel more profound than other memories.
8 days after Augustus’ pre-funeral. He sadly passes away. This causes a tremendous burden for Hazel. Even though it had only been for a limited amount of time, Hazel realised that it had been a pleasure to have met Augustus and to appreciate all the special moments they shared together. As the final chapters of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ occur, John Green strengthens the understanding to the reader a reminder that love within pain and suffering has a major impact on livelihood. Although the death of Augustus was painful, an impactful loss and grief for Hazel, the love they share lingers around the both of them for the rest of eternity. As part of human nature, pain and suffering leave an imprint on human life, but it can also reinforce the idea of love as a comfort zone for the significant tough times in life.
The novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ originates a line from Shakespeare’s play; ‘Julis Caesar’. “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars / but in ourselves, that we are the underlings”. The meaning behind the title ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ implies the fault represents a problem/mistake that is in their stars which symbolises their fate. In this case, the fault is Hazel and Augustus’s cancer, and the stars are their lives. Not everyone or anything will always be perfect, but what shines in us is the stars that represent our imperfections, much like cancer. In society, not everyone or everything will always be perfect, but what shines in us is the stars that represent our imperfections, much like the cancer in Hazel and Augustus. Although we could be facing struggles in life that linger around us, those are our little imperfections that we may not always have control over. Despite those little imperfections, everyone should treat each day as a positive and appreciate our lives.
Through the theme of love within pain and suffering, John Green does a successful job of emphasising and interpreting key points that love has the liability to uplift our lives and our happiness despite the struggles and challenges society faces each day. During the novel, the love story behind Hazel and Augustus highlights how love can be a source of strength and guidance even in the trauma of pain and suffering.
In today’s world, we all face our own struggles, big or small, long or short, Each and every one of us can find the determination, and inspiration in the hope of love and relationships we share with others, just like Hazel and Augustus cherished their lifetime memories together in period of time. Our lives truly are fragile.
‘The Fault in Our Stars’ reminds the reader that love will always overpower our pain and suffering, that the faults in our own stars shine a light through our darkness and inspire us to acknowledge and embrace the love we have that surrounds us.
To summarise, John Green’s novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ represents the significant theme of love within pain and suffering, and is applied through the eyes of Hazel Grace Lancaster. John Green uses language features such as metaphors to represent the theme of love within pain and suffering. The theme is demonstrated in the example of Hazel’s eulogy to Gus. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. John Greens’ purpose of the novel is to highlight and encourage the reader to treasure the moments spent with one another before it’s too late.