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The Fault in Our Stars
Transcript of The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars is a hero's story. It is an epic story. Most people read the biography or summary of the book and put it back down because they don't want to read a ''cancer book'. TFIOS is far from a 'cancer book'. This book should teach the reader a portion of what it is like to be a teenager going about life with cancer. These kids are no different from any other considerably healthy kid. They have hopes and dreams like the rest of us, John Green doesn't lead us through a journey through an illness, but instead he leads the reader on an adventure through life and discovery despite a terrifying illness.
The Author: John Green
New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars
2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
In 2007 John and his brother Hank started video blogging on YouTube, sparking a community of people called the NerdFighters.
Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank’s 30th birthday
Their videos have been viewed over 200 million times, which is a pretty big deal.
Currently being posted on their channel are vlogs (video blogs) from the filming of TFIOS Movie which is to be premiered sometime 2014.
The Reason for the Title
This taken word for word from John Green himself when asked why he chose this title:
"There's a moment in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar when one Roman nobleman said to another, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." And in the context of the play, that quotation makes perfect sense- these two guys did not suffer some unjust destiny; they made decisions that led them to their fates. "
John Green went on to say that that quote has been misconstrued and is now use universally as a way of saying the fault is not in the stars, but in individual people.
Green contradicted that by saying that that theory was ridiculous.
"There is plenty of fault in our stars. Many people suffer needlessly not because they've done something wrong or because they're evil or whatever but because they got lucky. I wanted to try to write a novel about how we navigate a world that ISN'T fair, and whether it's possible to have a full and meaningful life even if you don't get to play out your life on a grand stage the way Cassius and Brutus did."
It's pretty remarkable once you think about it. He put so much thought into just the title, so can you just imagine how many hours of hard work, planning, and thinking went on just write a simple paragraph that one would read in a matter of seconds?
By John Green
Irony: an event or saying that contrasts what
is actually happening or being said.
When irony is included in a story, the reader is consistently surprised by the outcomes of each action. Irony can be used to add humor to a character, add dark humor to a story, or even add drama to the reading.
Symbolism is when an object or
expression is a representation of
another object or expression.
The video games:
The videos that Augustus and Isaac play symbolize that whether kids have cancer or not, they are still regular kids and like the same types of games or sports. They can do anything that any other child can do, healthy or not;
His cigarettes symbolize being so close to
death and being able to touch it, but let
alone is so far away from it. He sees them as death, but knows that by lighting one, he is igniting the flame of death within him. So by just holding the cigarette in between his lips, without lighting it, he is basically holding death between his lips.
Foreshadowing is when the author presents the reader with an event or happening that almost previews what will happen later on in the story.
An Imperial Affliction
Hazel's favorite book is "An Imperial Affliction" by a man who she believes is brilliant and tremendously talented. Her obsession for this book goes beyond the love for the story, and into the world of the author. Peter Van Houten is of course brilliant, but he is mostly a crazy man who has a drinking problem. He had never written a book after "An Imperial Affliction", and instead remained drunk 24/7. Hazel wishes to meet Mr. Van Houten because she believes that he understands every thought that goes through her head, being a young teenager with an incurable cancer. The thoughts that cross her mind are not something that everyone thinks about. She has accepted the fact that she could die at any moment. Her addiction to this man and book, foreshadows the terrible inexperience when she gets the opportunity to meet him.
Augustus and his mental and physical state
Unlike the negative thinker, Hazel, Augustus thinks positively about life and his history of cancer. At the start of the book, Augustus is declared NEC, or No Evidence of Cancer, but was left with one and half legs. He has a prosthetic leg to replace the one that was amputated to assure that the cancer was gone. The fact that Augustus is an overall positive person and that his cancer was said to be gone, but yet still encounters occasional pain throughout the book, foreshadows that something terrible, such as the return of his cancer, will eventually occur.
A flashback is when the author incorporates a chapter, or a paragraph, about something that had taken place in a previous period of time, as to which the time that the story or novel takes place.
Hazel's Previous School Days
John Green has included flashbacks of Hazel's life before cancer, when she had many friends and went to school. These flashbacks allow the reader to get to know this character and understand somewhat of what she has been through in her short existence on this Earth. She loved life and hung out friends, but when cancer made it's first appearance, she tried to ignore it, but, eventually, she had to leave school, and most of her friendships ended.
Personification is when an author takes an object and gives it human-like qualities. What this does is that gives a story to something that may have never had the opportunity to speak, let alone give it's incite as to what it believes. Obviously it has to do with opinion of the author, but is still critical to most stories.
One of the most famous quotes from TFIOS is:
"that's the thing about pain it demands to be felt"
John Green gives the feeling of pain, human-like qualities by saying that it 'demands' to be felt. Of course feelings don't have a voice and can not demand or ask for things, so this a very good description, or example, of personification.
"His every syllable flirted"
The line above is used in TFIOS to describe Augustus' manner and the way he speaks when he first met Hazel. She believed that he spoke with such feeling and by saying that his every syllable flirted means that he was flirting with her extensively and it was almost as if every thing he said was meant in a flirtatious way.
There are many themes that could be pulled from this empowering story, but the one that stands above all is: sacrifice.
Sacrifice is the main theme in this story because many feelings, experiences, friendships, bonds, and time is sacrificed by every character.
Like most mothers, Hazel's mom wanted to do anything she could to make her daughter's life the best it could be under the daily conditions they faced. Hazel's family wasn't rich to begin with, but after all the medical expenses, they weren't left with much. Her mom sacrificed her hard earned money and more importantly, time, to ensure that her daughter got the medical help required for her lung cancer.
Hazel would not be the character that the reader would consider having to sacrifice anything, but she did. She sacrificed the chance of getting her walls torn down and having her heart broken. She would always be afraid that if she had friends that she would leave them heart broken, and she didn't want someone to do that to her so she isolated herself. When Augustus came around, all that changed and she sacrificed her heart for their friendship/relationship.
The Make a Wish Foundation gives each child affected by cancer one wish that will be granted for no cost by the foundation. Much like most kids, Hazel wasted her wish on a trip to Disney World with her family, while Augustus saved his. He used, or sacrificed, his wish to give Hazel the opportunity to go to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten.
A teenage girl
Originally diagnosed with thyroid cancer but now has multiplied creating a satellite colony in her lungs
She has to carry around an oxygen tank to assist her breathing
Reads to fill the empty hole created by the cancer.
Believes that depression is not because of the cancer, but instead a side effect of it. Just like dying is a side effect of cancer, as well.
Favorite book is An Imperial Affliction because it is a book written as if a true cancer patient has written it.
A teenage boy.
Had been declared NEC (No Evidence of Cancer) but had a touch of osteosarcoma.
Wants to leave a mark on this world, and not just die as that pitied kid with cancer.
He has 1 and a half legs due to the amputation surgery that declared him NEC.
Does anything he can so that he can make Hazel understand and enjoy life the way he sees it.
How they met.
Hazel's mom sends her to a weekly Support Group meeting at the local church created just for kids with cancer so they can either make friends with people who understand what they are going through, or to just have the ability to talk about what they are feeling with others who have gone through the same processes. There is this boy Isaac who attends the group weekly, and one day he brought along his friend, Augustus, as support because Isaac had just received the news that his second eye would have to be removed, leaving him 100% blind, so that he can be cancer free. Augustus and Hazel hit it off right away and were both intrigued by the other's attitude/ knowledge of life.
According to the author, John Green, a hero is a character or person who takes the journey from strength to weakness, instead of from weakness to strength.
Augustus went from being practically cancer free to having cancer all throughout his body. When he felt the first signs of pain, he stayed strong and, most importantly, did not worry Hazel. He could see that Hazel was going through some rough times and he put her state of mind, before his life basically. He was a hero for doing everything he did for her, knowing he was on a short road to death.
About the Story
This novel takes place in both Indianapolis and Amsterdam.
Indianapolis because the author, john Green, knows a lot about that city and he wanted it to be in a place he knew well and loved.
Amsterdam because it perfectly contrasts the very typical, American city of Indianapolis. Amsterdam is a beautifully lit city containing romantic scenes with canal boats and the red light district.
Indianapolis and Amsterdam are both canal cities, but are so different. Amsterdam is a city of romance and freedom while Indianapolis is a Midwestern city of straight laced worker bees living in suburbs. Hazel romanticizes Amsterdam as much as she romanticizes Van Houten.
An example of irony in TFIOS is how Hazel wishes to go about her life lightly and leave no marks, meanwhile Augustus is the one to leave a footprint, and even wishes to leave as big of a mark on the world as possible.