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Copy of The Fault in Our Stars: By John Green

A presentation about the book The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, and how it can relate to young adult fiction.
by

Maryam Fareed

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Fault in Our Stars: By John Green

A Presentation by Natalie Starn A Quick Synopsis:
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16 year old girl who has terminal cancer. She meets and falls in love with a boy named Augustus Waters, who also has cancer. Throughout the novel her biggest concern is what will happen to her family when she inevitably dies (especially her parents, because she is their only child). In the mean time, Augustus is focused on trying to make his life mean something, and trying to become the hero of his own story.

16-22 Age Group: The book deals with the themes of sickness
and dying. While it may not be a reason to
censor a book, it is a touchy subject that someone
younger than 16 might not be able to handle. Literature Terms Applied Allusion
Hazel recites the first stanza
of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love
Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to
Augustus. Much like Eliot's poem,
which asks questions such as "Do
I dare disturb the universe?"
(essentially, will my life ever mean
anything?!), both Hazel and Augustus
are trying to understand whether their
lives are going to ever make an impact
on the world, and if that impact with be
negative or positive.

Symbolism Water Augustus's last name is Waters.
Hazel has cancer in her lungs, and
complications lead them to begin
to fill with fluid, which she compares
to drowning. Also, the epigraph to the
book... “As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the ocean: “Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it, rising up and rising down, taking everything with it.”

“What's that?” Anna asked.

“Water,” the Dutchman said. “Well, and time.” Water is something that is both nourishing but can also destroy. It's something that gives life, but can be overwhelming, such as when one drowns in it. Flashback In the beginning of the book, Hazel flashes back to a time before she found a medicine that helped her deal with the cancer in her lungs. She was at death’s door and was in the hospital when she overheard her mother outside the door crying, telling her husband, Hazel’s father, that she “wasn’t going to be a mom anymore”. Eventually, they find a drug to treat Hazel but this image never leaves her, and she spends much of the book trying to determine what will happen to her family when she inevitably dies. Thematic Analysis Live every day to its fullest In a story about kids with cancer, it’s an inevitable theme. But Hazel and Augustus stick by it and really do try to do as much as they can with the time they have left. The importance of family Hazel’s main concern throughout the book is trying to find out what will happen to her family when she dies. Meanwhile, her mom and dad are just trying to take care of her and keep her happy and comfortable. Their family is what is most important throughout the whole book to both Hazel and Augustus. What it means to be a hero Throughout the book, Augustus tries to find heroic ways to make his life meaningful. What Hazel tries to make him understand (which he does, in the end) is that he gives her life meaning, and he’s a hero to her, which should be enough for him. Just making a difference in one person’s life is enough to be a hero. Characteristics of Quality Young Adult Literature Widespread Appeal This book is loved by both boys and girls, from people as young as teenagers to people as old as 90. I think this is because its themes are universal: while we don’t all have terminal cancer, we’re all aware of our own mortality and want to make the best out of the time we have on Earth. Who can’t relate to that? Lyrical/Poetic Language “I looked over at Augustus Waters, who looked back at me. You could almost see through his eyes, they were so blue. ‘There will come a time’ I said, ‘when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten, and all of this’—I gestured encompassingly—‘will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.” Sense of Humor Despite being a book about kids with cancer, they do and say some really funny things. Green is aware that in a book about cancer, especially one geared towards young adults, if you don’t make it at least a little humorous, you’re going to lose readers. Quotes “’I’m a grenade’ I said again. ‘I just want to stay away from people and read books and think and be with you guys because there’s nothing I can do about hurting you; you’re too invested, so just please let me do that, okay? I’m not depressed. I don’t need to get out more. And I can’t be a regular teenager because I’m a grenade.” (Page 99). “’Nothing happens to the Dutch tulip man. He isn’t a con man or not a con man; he’s God. He’s an obvious and unambiguous metaphorical representation of God, and asking what becomes of him is the intellectual equivalent of asking what becomes of the disembodied eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg in Gatsby. Do he and Anna’s mom get married? We are speaking of a novel, dear child, not some historical enterprise.’
‘Right, but surely you must have thought about what happens to them, I mean as characters, I mean independent of their metaphorical meanings or whatever.’
‘They’re fictions,’ he said, tapping his glass again. ‘Nothing happens to them.’”(Page 191)
“The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think ‘They’ll remember me now’, but (a) they don’t remember you and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion.” (page 311). "Never was Shakespeare more wrong when he had Cassius note 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,/But in ourselves.' Easy enough to say when you're a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare!), but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars." (Pages 111-112)
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