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John Green Essays

Marina Misshia English lll Block 6 Title: The Fault In Our Stars Author: John Green Date of Publication: January 10, 2012 Genre: Young Adult Novel Historical information about the period of publications: After graduating college in 2000, John Green spent ?ve months working as a student chaplain in a children?s hospital. His experiences working with children with life-threatening illnesses inspired him to write The Fault In Our Stars. Biographical information about the author: John Green, born August 24, 1977 is an #1 Best Selling American author best known for writing young adult ?ction and being a YouTube vlogger.
Green grew up in Orlando, Florida. He attended Indian Springs school just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, attending this boarding school was the inspiration for his ?rst book, Looking For Alaska. He graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in English and Religious Studies in 2000. Green worked for the book review journal Booklist in Chicago for several years, reviewing hundreds of books particularly literary ?ction and books about Islam and conjoined twins. Green then moved to New York City with his wife and currently still resides there.
Summary: Narrator sixteen-year-old terminal cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster has been home schooled since age thirteen and rarely socializes with people her age. After being diagnosed with depression, she joins a group for children with cancer. There she meets seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball plater and amputee. Hazel introduces Augustus to her favorite novel, Peter Van Houten?s An Imperial Af?iction about a girl who is also lives with terminal cancer but, however, lives a good life until the novel ends in mid-sentence, leaving Hazel puzzled.
With this, Hazel has tried to contact Van Houten but never receives a reply. Augustus takes interest in the novel and contacts Van Houton via email. He receives a reply stating the author will answer any questions they have about the novel only if the two come to Amsterdam. Augusto uses a wish he received because of his poor health to take Hazel and her mother to Amsterdam. Upon arrival, Van Houten presents himself as a rude drunk and Hazel leaves his home followed by his assistant who quits out of anger.
The group then visit?s Anne Frank?s house and Augustus later reveals he recently had a PET scan that showed new tumors. In the last few weeks of his life back in Indianapolis, Hazel watches Augustus slowly deteriorate which causes her to mentally break down. Augustus requests Hazel and their friend Isaac, a cancer patient who had both his eyes removed, have a funeral for him he can watch where they share their eulogies for Augustus. Eight days later, Augustus dies and Hazel is crushed. At his real funeral, Hazel does not give the eulogy she has written for him, declaring “funerals are for the living”.
To her surprise, Hazel realizes that Peter Van Houten has ?own out to attend Augustus? funeral. Hazel realizes Van Houten had written An Imperial Af?iction because of his own experiences, to which he admits he lost his daughter to cancer when she was eight years old. Hazel talks to Isaac and he reveals Augustus was writing something for her but he is not sure what. Hazel originally believes it is the alternate ending to An Imperial Af?iction that Augustus had promised her, but she later learns it was a eulogy intended for her which he sent to Peter Van Houten to proofread.
At the very end of the novel, Augustus’s letter to Van Houten reads, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers. ” To this, Hazel replies, “I do, Augustus, I do. ” Characteristics of the genre: Young-adult ?ction is ?ction marketed to adolescents and young adults. The YALSA (Young Adult Library Services) of the ALA (American Library Association) de?ne young-adult novels as targeted to ages twelve to eighteen. Young adult literature contains the fundamental elements of the ?ction genre: character, settling, plot, theme and style.
However, “theme and style are often subordinated to the more tangible elements of plot, setting, and character, which appeal more readily to younger readers. ” Author?s style: Despite the incredibly complex topics The Fault In Our Stars touches upon, the book remains rather simple. The simplicity of the book, and many of John Green?s other books, is what makes it a huge seller. Green?s writing style takes on such subjects and makes the complex truths in them simple while still keeping them interesting. Example that demonstrates the style: “That?s the thing about pain… t demands to be felt. ” This demonstrates John Green?s ability to take something complex— pain — and put it into one simple sentence that reveals a truth. Memorable Quotes: Name Hazel Role Narrator Quote “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once” Signi?cance Demonstrates what she feels for Augustus Waters Name Hazel Role Narrator Quote “The marks humans leave are too often scars” Signi?cance Reveals how Hazel feels about humans, possibly why she does not interact with them very often Famous quote by Hazel which reveals her way of thinking
Hazel Narrator “Without pain, how could we know joy? ‘ This is an old argument in the ?eld of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suf?ce it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate. ” “But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ?The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves. ” Augustus Hazel?s friend from the cancer group Where the title of the book is revealed
Name Hazel Role Narrator Quote “The only person I really wanted to talk to about Augustus Water’s death with was Augustus Waters. ” Signi?cance Famous quote by Hazel in which anyone who has experienced a death can relate to Augustus Hazel?s friend from the cancer group “Because there is no glory in illness. There is no meaning to it. There is no honor in dying of. ” Shows Augustus? attitude towards his disease Characters: Hazel Grace Lancaster: 16, is the novel’s narrator. She goes by Hazel. She is a ¦ thyroid cancer patient, having been diagnosed when she was 13.
Augustus Waters: 17, is in remission. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at a ¦ young age and lost his right leg to the disease. Isaac: Augustus’ best friend. He has eye cancer, and eventually loses his sight ¦ because of it. Peter Van Houten: a recluse author whose ?rst and only work, An Imperial ¦ Af?iction, serves as the basis of most of Hazel’s beliefs for both her life and relationship with Augustus. Mrs. Lancaster: Hazel’s mom. ¦ Mr. Lancaster: Hazel’s dad. ¦ Mrs. Waters: Augustus’ mom. ¦ Mr. Waters: Augustus’ dad. ¦ Lidewij Vliegenthart: Van Houten’s personal assistant.
She quits after he lashes ¦ out at Hazel and Augustus, and offers to help Hazel in ?nding the potential epilogue Augustus wrote for Hazel. Kaitlyn: One of Hazel’s only friends left from high school. ¦ Patrick, the social worker who runs the support group. ¦ Symbols: Swing set: a symbol for childhood. Several times Hazel tries to go back to the swing set but can?t, then Augustus ?nally helps her realize she needs to get it out of her backyard. Cigarette: “It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing. Isaac: There?s a strong tradition of epics being told my blind people: Homer, Milton, etc. Assuming that Hazel?s lifespan would be shorter than average, Isaac, who lost both of his eyes, would be the only one left to tell her story. Water: Water makes life possible for Hazel but the water in her lungs is killing her. Also, Amsterdam would never have become a great city if it wasn?t surrounded by water but is also in danger of drowning. Drowning girl; drowning city. Stairs vs. Elevator: Stairs are usually for healthy people while elevators are for sick people.
In the beginning of the book, Hazel chooses to take the stairs and by the end, she chooses to take the elevator. Possible themes: Relationships Love Purpose Struggle Hardship Signi?cance of opening scene: The narrator, Hazel is introduced and you learn key things about her: she is 16, she is depressed, she rarely leaves the house, devotes quite a bit of time thinking about death, and has cancer. She also attends her ?rst weekly support group very early in the book, where she meets Augustus Waters.
Signi?cance of closing scene: Hazel is writing a letter in reply to Augustus? eulogy for her in which he sent to Peter Van Houten to proofread. At the end of Augustus? eulogy to Hazel, he writes, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers. ” To this, Hazel replies, “I do, Augustus, I do. ” John Green has pointed out that “I do” is in present tense, and is something commonly said at a wedding, which may suggest something.

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