Our lives are a set of building blocks, and we always yearn to be perceived as skyscrapers. But not everyone has this capability. People have faults, and sadly, it can get to the point where those wrecking balls intervene. And the thing that was once a set of building blocks is no more. Some people have it harder than others. People live with cancer, deadly diseases that could ruin their lives. The Fault in Our Stars is a story mainly about the life of a girl named Hazel who falls in love with a person named Augustus. The problem is, that her and two other main characters in the story, Augustus and Isaac, have to live their lives battling cancer, which literally controls their “ordinary” lives. It is about the struggle (faults) that comes with dealing with cancer, and how they try to overcome these obstacles. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they do not. John Green titled his novel The Fault In Our Stars because the stars are the building blocks (a persons life), and the fault in those stars is what is keeping those building blocks from becoming skyscrapers, the wreaking ball (cancer). There are many significant themes throughout the novel that correlate to the title. The struggles in life with cancer, how love triumphs through hardship, and coping with the death of a loved one. These themes not only relate to the title but they also exemplify what this story is really about. Sets of building blocks that are slowly broken down, to the point where they are destroyed completely buy the wrecking ball, both literally and mentally.
Cancer is something that it very hard to live with, and it generates numerous setbacks in life. The three main characters in this story, Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac live their lives battling cancer. They meet different obstacles every day, and the struggle is dealing with those obstacles. Hazel struggles with lung cancer, and every day she walks around with oxygen tank to help her lungs function. One time her cancer took a dangerous toll when she woke up in the middle of the night at about four in the morning with an apocalyptic pain in the center of her brain. She woke her parents and was taken to the ICU. Hazel was knocked out, and they did save her. When she woke up in the morning her parents explained everything that had happened to her. “Mom and Dad told me that I did not have a brain tumor, but that my headache was caused by poor oxygenation, which was caused by my lungs swimming in fluid, a liter and a half(!!!!) of which had been successfully drained from my chest, which was why I might feel a slight discomfort in my side, where there was, hey look at that, a tube that went from my chest into a plastic bladder half full of liquid that for all the world resembled my Dad’s favorite amber ale. My mom told me that I was going home, that I really was, and that I would have to get this drained every now and again and get back on the BiPAP, this nighttime machine that forces air in and out of my lungs.”(107) Hazel’s overexertion was very hard on her and the rest of her family.
Now she has to get her lungs drained every once in a while and she is also on BiPAP. In my opinion this was more than just a struggle, this was a nightmare. A nightmare pioneered straight from her cancer, and it is just horrible. Augustus had lived a very rigid life with cancer. At the time that he met Hazel, he was cancer free with an amputated leg. When Augustus and Hazel went to the airport to go on their trip to Amsterdam, Augustus took very long to get to the plane when he said that he was going to go get food and come back. He told Hazel and her mom that the line at McDonald’s was really long but the truth came out when he was sitting on the plane next to Hazel. “Listen, sorry I avoided the gate area. The McDonald’s line wasn’t really that long; I just….I just didn’t want to sit there with all those people looking at us or whatever.” (145, 146) Here Augustus’s struggle with cancer is the looks that people would give him, looks that were just too hard to fathom. He didn’t want to get those looks. It bothered him. Augustus did not like people looking at him like there was something wrong with him. It was just mortifying. Isaac was Augustus’s friend that introduced him to Hazel.
Isaac and Hazel went to support group together. Isaac suffered from eye cancer, and he was going to get a surgery that would eradicate himself of his cancer. The problem was that this surgery would steal his sight. This was a huge obstacle that cancer has set for him and he has to cope with the struggle of loosing his sight. But something even worse happened to Isaac when he told his girlfriend about the news (that he was going to be blind). His girlfriend stopped seeing him and it broke Isaacs heart. She was his true love and they said they would always be together, but she could not take it anymore. “She said she can’t handle it. I’m about to lose my eyesight and she can’t handle it.” (60) The reason his sight was going to be disdained was to loose his cancer. Meaning that the cancer was the cause of him loosing his sight, initiating the lose of his true love. This was Isaac’s huge struggle in life with cancer. Loosing the love of his life. The theme of struggles in life with cancer relates to the title because these struggles from cancer are the faults (struggles) that are in the stars, what is keeping the building blocks from becoming skyscrapers, which is initiated by the wrecking ball (cancer).
Cancer is a deadly disease that constructs many problems in life. According to the love that was shared between Hazel and Augustus, no problem or “fault” would ever desist the love that these two had for each other. Augustus showed hazel that there is more to life than staying home and letting cancer consume you. It did not take long for them to fall in love. Together they were unbeatable and they would never let anything bring them down. They both went through rigorous paths, but together, their loved steered themselves out of that hardship, and to safety. When Hazel was taken to the hospital because of her overexertion the nurse informed her about Augustus. “You’re not going to ask about your boyfriend?” she asked. “Don’t have one,” I told her. “Well there’s a kid who has hardly left the waiting room since you got here,” she said. “He hasn’t seen me like this, has he?” “No Family only.”(108) Even though it was very hard to see Hazel in that faze of discomfort, Augustus went because he loved her. He did not let hardship terminate his love for hazel. He would not let anything stop him from seeing her. When Augustus Osteosarcoma returned, he went to buy a pack of cigarettes in the middle of the night, and something went wrong with his G-tube. He told Hazel to come and help him fix it.
She took off her BiPAP, attached herself to an oxygen tank and went to help him before it was too late. When she saw him Augustus was in the drivers seat of his car covered in his own vomit. “Oh, G-d, Augustus, we have to get you to a hospital.” I gagged from the smell but bent forward to inspect the place above his belly button where they’d surgically installed the tube. The skin of his abdomen was warm and bright red. “Gus, I love you.” (244-245). Hazel loved Augustus so much that she took off her BiPAP, and left by herself with her oxygen tank to help Augustus in his urgent time of need. She did not let this “fault” bring down her spirits and she did what ever she could to keep him alive. She saved his life and if she did not go there to help him (and call 911) Augustus would not have made it. Their love triumphs through hardship, that is how powerful their love is. This theme relates to the title because the love is what keeps those stars or building blocks (peoples lives) up and running and they wont let the fault (hardship) get in the way of the love. Love isn’t something that can be wished upon, you have to have that click. The click between Hazel and Augustus was so strong that they would not let anything get into the way.
At the end of the book Hazel is forced to cope with the death of her one and only soul mate, Augustus. Hazel was devastated. She loved him so much. At his funeral, she went up to Augustus’s coffin to say her last good bye. “I love you present tense,” I whispered, and then put my hand on the middle of his chest and said, “It’s okay, Gus. It’s okay. It is. It’s okay, you hear me?” I had-and have-absolutely no confidence that he could here me. I leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. “Okay,” I said. “Okay.” (270) Hazel has been trying very hard not to let it get to her (the pain), and she does not want Augustus to be mad that he died on her. That is why Hazel says its okay, to apprise Augustus and make herself know that she can live through this. The theme of coping with the death of a loved one relates to the title of this novel because coping with the death of a loved one is another fault (struggle) that was in the stars that was initiated from death by cancer. Osteosarcoma was the wreaking ball that destroyed Augustus’s building blocks and Augustus’s passing was the wreaking ball that injured Hazel’s building blocks.
There are many obstacles in life, and we always try to overcome them. Some people have it harder than others. Some people are forced to live their lives battling cancer. That is what The Fault in Our Stars is all about, the burden of living life as a different person with new problems everyday. Some days will be better than others, and some days will be worse. It’s a never-ending roller coaster. Sure there will be times where it slows down and rides along a straight path but there will always be those times where it goes fast and gets bumpy. People live today overcoming these endeavors. There are many themes in the novel that correspond with the title. The struggles in life with cancer, how love triumphs through hardship, and coping with the death of a loved one. These themes not only correlate to the title but they also portray the main idea of the story. Our lives are a set of building blocks and if we don’t learn how to eventually take and overcome the blows from the wrecking ball, we will never have that chance that all of us have always longed for (even for people who are not battling cancer), to not only become a skyscraper but to be commended as one.