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The Fault In Our Stars

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Nicole Burns

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of The Fault In Our Stars

By: Nicole Burns and Melissa Allen
Summary
Hazel Grace Lancaster

The Fault in Our Stars
is a film based on a drama/romance novel by John Green. It revolves around sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster, a young victim of lung cancer. She is considered "depressed" and is forced by her mother to go to a cancer support group.

However, at support group, Hazel ends up meeting the love of her life, Augustus Waters. Augustus is a former cancer patient himself, who has lost part of his leg to
osteosarcoma
, a rare type of cancer.

Not long after meeting, the two of them grow very close together. Hazel even ends up introducing her favorite novel to Gus. She tells him that one day she dreams on having a conversation with the author, Van Houten, who lives in Amsterdam. So just as Hazel dreamed, they end up traveling to Amsterdam with Hazel's mother Frankie. Where Hazel will learn that things are not always what they seem to be.
Augustus Waters
- Augustus Waters describes himself as a strong, confident, funny, and charming guy
- He is known to have an obsession with his own style
- He convinces himself that the importance of life is being heroic, leaving a noble legacy, and having people look up to him
- However, as his cancer returns, all of his performance and goofy acts change
- Now Gus is a teenage boy in Indianapolis who used to play basketball, and now he is dying from cancer
- Hazel sees that, under the romantic gestures and theatrical style, Gus is a sweet, caring, and understandably terrified 17 year old guy
- It is his love for Hazel that makes Gus grow, & teaches him that it's okay for him to be himself
Movie Clip
Themes
Coming of Age
- The film follows Augustus and Hazel and their passage from childhood into adulthood
- Hazel and Gus begin to discover the adult world and all of its complexity, they begin to experience their bodies and sexualities in new ways, they also rebel against and come to terms with society, family, rules, and religion
- Their passage into adulthood is complicated by the fact that they are living and dying from cancer
- They are both constantly walking a line between moving into adulthood & holding onto their youth
- Their youths were a time when they were healthy, so they are afraid to let that go
- Their passage into adulthood is threatened by their cancer, so they are determined to pass into adulthood before it is too late
Coming of Age- Continued
Themes
- Augustus receives his diagnosis and loses his leg, just as he begins to think remotely about basketball, realizing his childhood love of the sport is fading
- Hazel & Gus deal with things that other healthy teenagers are never forced to confront
- Both of them do not experience relationships in the same ways typical teenagers do because their futures are not promised
- They don't get to experiment with alcohol and substances the way most teenagers do
- Their relationship with their sick bodies makes their coming of age particularly challenging
- Hazel & Augustus do experience a passage into physical, emotional, and mental maturity
- Their cancer becomes a force that drives them to mature and develop deep understandings of life, death, love, and relationships, however, their healthy peers will not attain this growth for many years to come
Themes
Fear of Oblivion
- Both Gus & Hazel are forced to confront death in a way that the young & healthy aren't
- The terminally ill, can't avoid considering what comes after death, and the potential that all that's waiting for them is oblivion
- At support group, Gus explains that oblivion is a very big fear of his
- Hazel points out, "that everyone will some day die, which means everything humanity has ever built could all be for naught, and that just as there was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, there will be a time after as well"
- She tells Gus that if that thought is disturbing then he should just ignore it, but her tone in the film implies that it's something that can't be ignored, at least not forever
Themes
Fear of Oblivion- Continued
- The fear of oblivion also motivates Augustus's desire to perform some heroic act before he dies and validate his significance
- Gus worries that, without doing something dramatic that people will remember, after he is gone he thinks won't have mattered
- He thinks his significance, like his consciousness, will simply be consumed by oblivion after his death
- For Hazel, the fear of oblivion strikes her in a different way, she needs to know that those close to her, and her relationships with them, will carry on after her death
- Augustus overcomes the fear of oblivion because he learns that his importance isn't defined by the fact that his life is temporary, because his importance to those around him will carry on
- Hazel also learns that her mother will continue to be her mother, not even her death can change such a thing
Character Analysis
Themes
Pain Demands To Be Felt
- In the film, Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac all go through quite a bit of physical & emotional pain
- Hazel is deprived of oxygen, thanks to the build up of fluid in her lungs, sometimes it even leads to really intense pain that puts her in the emergency room
- Isaac has to deal with loosing his other good eye, potentially making him blind, which also leads to his girlfriend breaking up with him
- Augustus physically deteriorates to the point where he has to take pain medication
- He also suffers knowing that he will never accomplish any heroic things in his life
Themes
Pain Demands To Be Felt- Continued
- Pain is just a part of living for all of them
- A significant kind of pain in the film, is that caused by the death of a loved one
- Hazel worries a great deal about inflicting this kind of suffering on those around her when she dies
- Hazel actually becomes a victim of this kind of pain when Gus begins to weaken and passes away from his cancer
- Hazel comes to realize that the pain of loosing a loved one can't be avoided, the pain demands to be felt
- Hazel also realizes that pain isn't something one should avoid
Themes
Pain Demands To Be Felt- Continued
- Hazel wouldn't take back the love she feels for Augustus for anything, even though the love is the main cause of her pain, it is both a blessing & a cure
- In Gus' letter to Van Houten he states that the pain you cause others when you die is a mark that shows you mattered
- Augustus says happily that he left his "scar" on Hazel, which means that he hurt her, but he also had an affect on her life that she will always carry with her
-The film shows that most kind of pain is necessary, and in fact it is apart of joy
- Hazel touches upon this idea at Augustus' funeral, the first thing she says to the crowd is that there's a quote hanging in Gus's house that always gave her comfort:
"Without pain, we couldn't know joy"
Character Analysis
Hazel Grace Lancaster
- Hazel Grace is a very mature & analytical 16 year old
- In the film, she starts off by desperately wanting to get rid of the harm caused by her existence on earth
- Throughout the film Hazel grows physically weaker because of her cancer
- In the beginning, she could use the stairs at Support Group, but yet at the end of the film, she opts for the elevator, as her physical condition deteriorates
- Hazels journey in the film revolves around her understanding of death
- In the beginning of the film, Hazel obsesses over the impact her death will have on those around her
- She fears getting close to anyone, because she knows that her death will hurt anyone close to her
- As Hazel puts it, it makes her a "grenade"
Character Analysis
Hazel Grace Lancaster
- This fear appears most in regards to her mother, because one time when Hazel was almost dying, she overheard her mother say that when Hazel passes, she was no longer going to be a mom anymore, and Hazel always has this thought on the back of her mind
- Hazel grows a lot throughout the film thanks to Augustus
- Gus changes her perspective on life & cancer
- When Augustus' cancer reappears, Hazel recognizes that now Gus is the "grenade"
- Even tho Gus is now a "grenade", she is not sorry that she fell in love with him, even though she knows it will hurt her immensely when he dies
Hazel Grace Lancaster
- At the end of the film, Hazel shows that throughout her journey she has grown spiritually
- Hazel's final words "I do" at the end of the film, implies that she will remember & love Augustus for as long as she lives
- In the end, she learns that death is not the present irreversible ending she had once considered it to be
- Hazel learns that her & Augustus' relationship continues, even if they do not
Character Analysis
Video Clip
Character Analysis
Augustus Waters
Augustus Waters
- As he physically grows weaker, Gus is forced to confront the fact that he'll die without doing anything extraordinary in others eyes, and because of this a deeper spiritual growth takes place
- Hazel makes Gus realize that failing to do something extraordinary does not equal to be insignificant
- Throughout the film the true Gus reveals himself, his cigarette metaphor serves as a link that binds his two identities together
- Augustus wants the cigarettes to represent his control over the thing that could kill him, but really it is a device he relies on when feeling most vulnerable
- He grabs for the cigarettes at a time of uncertainty, like when he firsts meets Hazel, or on the plane, when he is fearful of flying
- At the end of the film, Gus ends up passing away from his cancer
- But, he has his memories of Hazel & their strong love for one another to bring with him
- As well, he may not have impacted a lot of people like he wished to, but he did certainly impact one person (Hazel), which means so much more than impacting tons of people
Character Analysis
Isaac
Isaac
Character Analysis
- Isaac is Hazel & Augustus' mutual friend
- He has a rare form of eye cancer that ends up blinding him
- After being blinded, his girlfriend, Monica, leaves him, which is devastating to Isaac
- His character shows the way in which typical coming of age experiences, like the end of a young relationship, is particularly different for the young people living with cancer
Character Analysis
Peter Van Houten
- Peter Van Houten is the author of
An Imperial Affliction
, a novel that Hazel becomes obsessed with
- Hazel & Gus believe that Van Houten can give them insight into what will happen to their families after they pass from their cancer
- Upon meeting Van Houten, Hazel & Gus learn that he is an aggressive alcoholic who treats them with cruelty when they visit
- In the end, it is revealed that Van Houten has lost a child from cancer, and has turned to alcohol since her passing
- His interactions with Hazel seem to imply that he may find a way out of his alcoholism & to write again
Character Analysis
Peter Van Houten
Character Analysis
Anna
Character Analysis
- Anna is the protagonist of
An Imperial Affliction
, which tells the story of Anna's passing from cancer
- Hazel relates to Anna's experience, and appreciates the honesty with which Anna talks about her illness
- Hazel believes that by understanding Anna's experience & what happened to her family will provide insight into Hazels death & what will happen to her family afterwards
Character Analysis
Character Analysis
Character Analysis
Augustus Waters
Anna
Conflicts
Man Vs. Nature
Hazel & Gus Vs. Cancer
- Cancer is one of the biggest conflicts in the film
- It is an important conflict because it is the common bond that brings Hazel & Gus together
- Cancer is the beast that is killing both Hazel & Augustus
- Hazels cancer is her curse that makes her lungs hardly work & forces her to carry an oxygen tank
- Cancer also conflicts with Augustus & Hazel's relationship, limiting their time together
- Unfortunately this conflict doesn't get resolved in the film
Conflicts
Hazel vs Dying
- Hazels inner struggle to come to terms with dying young is important because it shows the audience how hard it is mentally to have cancer at such a young age
- Hazel attends cancer support group, which she hates but goes anyways, because it makes her parents feel better about how she is coping with her illness
- However, when Hazel meets Gus at support group, his positive and unique outlook on life changes her perspective on her situation
- When Gus dies, Hazel learns that although she can not control her circumstances, she can make her own decisons & choices, resolving her inner struggle with herself
Conflicts
Man Vs. Man
Hazel Vs. Van Houten
- Hazel lives by the book
"An Imperial Affliction"
, so when she is given the opportunity to meet the author of the novel, Hazel jumps at the chance
- Van Houten promised Hazel answers to her questions about the book
- However, he turns out to be a rude, pathetic old man who refuses to tell them anything
- Hazel & Van Houten have a small argument where they disagree about whether an author has a obligation to imagine a life for his fictional characters outside of the book
- Hazel feels very betrayed by the author, and doesn't know how to treat him
Conflicts
Man Vs. Society
Hazel vs. Labeling
-
- She can continue to respect the man, or reassess everything she previously believed about him
- This battle between them adds to both of their characters, Hazel childishly demanding answers from him, is a reminder that she is still young & frustrated, and Van Houten seems like a jerk, but he is still mourning after his daughters death, and in his pain pushes back Hazel's questions
- This conflict is important because it shows that not everything is what it seems to be, and it also shows how other people deal with hard situations
- Unfortunately, this conflict doesn't really get resolved, and continues throughout the course of the film
Conflicts
Man Vs. Man
Hazel Vs. Van Houten- Continued
- Labeling things bothers Hazel to an extent, because she believes that something is not special and rare simply because others say it is so
- Hazel looks sick because of her oxygen tank, so people may consider her "special" because of her cancer
- While she has accepted the isolation that comes with the disease, it still concerns her that she will forever be labeled "special" and only remembered like that; as her cancer self
- When someone sees a cancer kid, they automatically stereotype them & usually treat them differently
- Hazel thinks that she will only be remembered as "Hazel Grace: the cancer kid"
- Hazel struggles with the fact that she will never truly be a part of society, living a normal life & being able to just run around smelling the flowers
- But in the end, Gus makes Hazel realize that she is much more then just a "cancer kid" & that he will remember her as way more than that
Symbols
Augustus' Cigarettes
When Gus takes out a cigarette after support group & puts it in his mouth, hazel is mortified. She is sick by the thought of a cancer survivor actively partaking in such an activity that is known to cause cancer. But, just as Hazel was freaking out, Gus explains that he never actually lit it,and that it is just a metaphor. He states the metaphor is that you put the thing that does the killing right between your teeth, but you never give it the power to kill you. Augustus' metaphor is important because it represents his attempt to deal with and ideally control the things he fears (like flying, and dying from cancer).
Symbols
Grenade
- The "grenade" symbol represents death & the suffering a person's death causes to those close to them
- Hazel uses the term "grenade" to describe herself, she thinks of herself as a grenade that will one day explode, injuring everyone nearby
- According to Hazel, Augustus becomes the grenade once his cancer returns & it is obvious that he will die before Hazel does
- For hazel not hurting others is a major concern, knowing the effect her death will have on Augustus & her parents, is a serious problem for her
- The "grenade" symbol comes up again & again throughout the film as Hazel wrestles with her desire to be close to them, and her concern that she will injure them
- The "grenade" symbol also shows up in the video game Gus plays with Isaac. In the game, Gus throws himself on a grenade to save nearby school children. It is only by sacrificing himself & getting hurt by the grenade that Gus achieves the heroism he always desires
Symbols
Grenade- Continued
After Gus dies, Hazel reads a letter that he sent to Van Houten in which Augustus discusses the idea of the people close to us hurting us. He states that people don't get to choose if they get hurt in this world, but they do get to choose who hurts them. The "grenade" symbol is important because it represents the suffering we cause others, but as Gus shows, sometimes the cause is worth it.
Video Clip
Symbols
An Imperial Affliction
- In the film, the novel
"An Imperial Affliction"
represents the healing value of fiction
- Hazel refers to the novel as her personal bible because it's the only account of living with cancer she's found that relates to her own experience
- Hazel obsesses over the fates of the characters in the novel because they serve as figures for her own parents, whom she wants to know will be fine after her death
- By learning what happens to the characters & confirming that they don't simply disappear after Anna's death in the novel, Hazel can feel certain that her parents will similarly live on after her death
- An Imperial Affliction is an important symbol because for Hazel, the characters hold a great deal of value to her
Symbols
Water
- In the film, water is a symbol of Hazel's suffering
- Her cancer has caused her lungs to collect fluid, which makes it difficult for her to breathe & get around
- Her cancer also causes her to carry around an oxygen tank everywhere she goes
- In one scene in the film, the fluid in Hazel's lungs almost kills her, placing her in the ICU & almost cancels her trip to Amsterdam
- Throughout the film, Hazel relates her experience of having cancer to drowning
- This symbol is also important because it leads to personal growth, and it shows that Hazel has many layers to her, just like water does
Symbols
Family
- The film shows how friends & families of cancer patients react to their diagnoses
- The parents of young cancer patients react to the loss of their children in many different ways
- Hazel's parents show how a cancer diagnosis places parents in difficult sitatuons as they attempt to parent a teenager
- They want Hazel to be a normal teenager, which is why they want her to go to the cancer support group & meet other people like her, but at the same time Hazel's parents are very protective & overbearing of her
- Augustus' parents react different from Hazel's, his parents try to battle the cancer by staying positive
- His parents plaster the house with positive sayings that are a constant reminder for them to stay hopeful
Symbols
Family- Continued
- Both Hazel & Gus find their parents a tad bit annoying, but they understand that their parents just love them & are coping with their situations to the best of their ability
- Hazel knows that her very existence causes her parents immense pain
- She is guilty over her parents lack of money & the time that they sacrifice to make sure she is safe & cared for
- Hazel also has a fear that her death will tear the family apart & her parents will never be the same again
- Near the end of the film, Hazel experiences Augustus' death & she watches his family come together & work through it
- Hazel also learns that Van Houten the author of
"An Imperial Affliction"
had written the novel about his daughter Anna that passed away from cancer
- Hazel realizes that even after Anna's death Van Houten has continued to exist, even though her death has pushed him over the edge into alcoholism & fierce resentment
- Hazel also finds out that her mom is studying to become a cancer counselor for young people, which allows Hazel to know that even after she dies, her mother will continue to love her through loving other children fated in ways she once was
- Hazel also comes to realization that her parents will not falter in the way Van Houten has
Symbols
Family- Continued
Quote
" There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you are 16, and that is having a kid who bites it from cancer" - Hazel Grace Lancaster
Themes
Love Triumphs Through Hardship
- Augustus & Hazel have an epic love story, and they both bring out the best in each other
- Augustus shows Hazel that there is more to life than staying at home & letting cancer consume you
- Hazel brings back the light in Augustus' life
- Together the two of them are unbeatable, and won't let anything bring them down
- In the film, they both go through some really hard times, at one point Hazel got admitted to the hospital again because her lungs were full of fluid
- Augustus also has to deal with his cancer returning
- Throughout all of their situations Gus & Hazel were standing by each others side every step of the way
Rate & Critique
Overall, we think that this film is really well put together. It is very interesting and does an amazing job at connecting the audience with the characters. The film always keeps you wanting more. The actors in the film are a perfect fit for the characters, and did an outstanding job. There are scenes in the film where you actually need a box of tissues because it is just too surreal. Since this film is so great, we give it a rate of 10/10.
Media Clip
Re-enacted Scene From Film
The End!!
Full transcript