Things I have Learnt from John Green's Characters | The Fault In Our Stars

by - 13 October


Yes, I have succumbed to the hype of TFIOS (whoever gave this an abbreviation?) Succumbed would not be an appropriate word to describe this beautiful love story. It's not any old love story filled with roses, sneaking out at night and a wedding, it's so much more real in the sense that it can give you the effect that Titanic, The Notebook and Romeo and Juliet did, but at the same time give you an insight into what unglamourised love is like. I say unglamourised because works like The Notebook are painted to be epic love stories. The Fault in Our Stars is so much more than that...


The Meaning of Happiness

I'm going to go this deep and tell you that I have learnt the true meaning of happiness from this gem of a book. A lot of things have been going on in my life in the past year and I found myself looking to master the art of happiness. I realised that waiting for happiness to come knocking on my door will crush my hopes, because happiness is not something to be acquired or waited for. It is not, because it is already there. It's in the air we breath, the cup of tea we drink and that relaxing bath in the evening. It's already there and we just can't feel it. 'Why can't we feel it?' you ask. Or, 'Yes happiness is found in simple luxuries but what about intense joy, where do I find that?' It's simple, without darkness we can never know happiness. Without darkness, we can never know light. If nothing tragic or horrible ever happened to us then we would be in a state of equilibrium. More to the point, life would be boring. This is why we can only taste the deliciousness of water only after a brutal workout at the gym or why we like the colour pink over purple. We have variety! So without darkness we can never truly feel happiness and this is comforting to know for me.

This is one of the parts of the novel that hit this home to me. This kiss meant so much to Hazel.


"And then we were kissing. my hand let go of the oxygen cart [...] I started to feel breathless in a new and fascinating way [...] This cancer ruined thing I'd spent years dragging around suddenly seemed worth the struggle, worth the chest tubes"


An Imperial Affliction


An Imperial Affliction actually appears as a suggestion on Amazon search. Hazel and Gus have agonised over the meanings in this unfinished novel and so have we with them. We want to be a part of their lives which is why so many readers went to search for this non existent book.  

These intelligent teenagers and their analysis of life and the world around them intrigued me and made me want to know more. I love their sense of humour and their interest in literature, that is what gives character to the story. 


In one of Augustus' darkest moments Hazel narrates this to us as if he was a character from one of their books.


"According to the conventions of genre, Augustus Waters kept his sense of humour till the end, did not for a moment waiver in his courage [...] But this was the truth, a pitiful boy who desperately wanted to not be pitiful, screaming and crying, poisoned by an infected G-tube"


A perspective on life

There have been so many insightful moments in the novel where I kept thinking 'I never thought of it like that' which I am so grateful for. Hazel spending her dying wish at what Gus merely calls a "theme park" lead to their perspective of the world as a wish granting factory. This saying is then used against the couple when Gus reveals that he is dying, he says that the world after is "not a wish granting factory". 

Hazel views funerals as a ceremony that were only meant for the living. 

Right from the beginning she confidently teaches us that cancer is in fact as side effect to dying and that depression was not a side effect to cancer. She believes that the cancer is made of them and continues to assert this.

"Augustus Waters died eight days after his prefunneral, at memorial, in the ICU, when the cancer, which was mad elf him, finally stopped his heart, which was also made of him."

Hazel's view of her life as a short infinity was by far the most beautiful part of the book and which I choose to end this blog post with.


"There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and /12 and .112 and infinite collection of others [...] Some infinities are bigger than other infinities [...] There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I am likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters [...] You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful"

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