The Fault in our Stars Report

Category: Literature
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People worry too much about societal expectations, and in doing so, often miss the simplicities that hold life’s meaning. Living life to the fullest and doing what makes one happy is vital. In The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, both Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters are living with cancer. Any day could be their last day. The key scene in The Fault in Our Stars shows that despite their personal struggles and setbacks, both Hazel and Augustus make the most out of the limited time they have together, so that the deep emotions of their bond will continue on forever.

Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year-old girl who has lung cancer. Her mother has heavily encouraged her to attend a cancer patient support group held at a local church. While attending, she meets Augustus Waters, a 17 year-old survivor of osteosarcoma who lost part of his leg due to cancer. Through their mutual friend, Isaac, and their time at the cancer support group, the two get to know each other. Hazel eventually introduces Gus to her favorite novel, An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten, and tells him how she has dreamed of meeting the author one day. Gus contacts the author who writes back with the response, “Were she better, or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves’” (Green 111).

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Van Houten explains Cassius’ message as meaning that fate and destiny in the stars are beyond our grasp; they determine how life unfolds more than our own actions do. We just fall in line, perhaps unknowingly. Inspired by Van Houten’s response, Hazel and Gus fly together to Amsterdam together to meet the author. While in Amsterdam, Augustus confesses his love for Hazel, and she shares the same. They share close moments, and Gus confides that his cancer has returned and spread throughout this body. They know his time is limited, and they do not want to waste any precious time apart. They spend their last days with one another before Augustus ends up dying a few weeks later.

The key scene I chose depicts one of their last days together, when Hazel reads Augustus the eulogy she wrote for him at his pre-funeral, a small gathering he wants to have with both Hazel and Isaac. They both know that they have limited time to live, yet they still live their lives to the fullest and allow themselves to fall completely in love, despite knowing how much emotional pain they will suffer upon losing the other. Hazel states in her eulogy, “I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities” (Green 260). Here, Hazel expresses how thankful she is for the little infinity and close connection she and Augustus have shared.

I chose this scene because it is the turning point for Hazel. Although it is near the latter part of the book, it conveys a dynamic shift. Hazel used to keep all her feelings in. She feared that if she let Augustus know how she genuinely felt about him, he would only be hurt more when she passed away. Not wanting to hurt or burden anyone, including Augustus and even her own parents, she kept to herself. However, in this eulogy scene with Augustus and Isaac, Hazel openly shares her feelings and outwardly expresses how much Augustus Waters means to her. She is no longer afraid of hiding her feelings, as she wants him to know how much he means to her before he passes. The fact that Augustus specifically asked her to write a eulogy for him is a special testament to their bond. Even though it is a pre-funeral, the significance lies in how Hazel and Isaac have the opportunity to reflect and share their experience of Gus’ life with Augustus himself, while he is still alive. In this meaningful time together, Gus sees himself through their eyes. During Hazel’s eulogy, he feels the depth of emotion in her words because they have shared their hearts with one another.

The eulogy scene poignantly conveys to people everywhere the importance of living life to the fullest – no matter what circumstances arise – and to continue to break barriers. It also shows how people with chronic illnesses or terminal disease live immensely differently as compared to people who do not have health concerns, which puts my life into perspective. When Hazel talks about how much she appreciates their “little infinity”, I realized that when people pursue the bigger infinity, we often ignore the evident beauty that lies within the smaller infinities. People should appreciate life and do what makes them happy. Despite the limits of their health, Gus and Hazel let themselves know the deepest joys of falling in love. The uniquely special bond Hazel shares with Augustus is more meaningful to her than anything else. Her eulogy in the pre-funeral scene deeply inspired me with its bittersweet message.

Hazel’s eulogy scene is followed by Augustus’ real funeral where Hazel also begins reading her eulogy. Rather than expressing her love for Augustus, she reflects back on their time and journey together, and says “There’s a great quote in Gus’s house, one that both he and I found very comforting: Without pain, we couldn’t know joy” (Green 272). In the short amount of time Hazel and Augustus have together, they both live their lives to the fullest. I cannot help but believe that their little infinity has become a big infinity. After all, the fault was in their stars, yet while the stars will eventually burn out, the love between Gus and Hazel will continue. Love endures.

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The Fault in Our Stars Report. (2021, Mar 24). Retrieved from