Usually someone’s worth in your life cannot be measure on a scale. You cannot give it a number between one and ten. Typically you can only say it was mostly good, or mostly not. Then there are the Augustus Waters of the world, who so entirely change your life, their impact could never be erased.

            Hazel Grace Lancaster is at once a professional sick person. Her illness, an `incurable thyroid cancer which has since spread to her lungs, defines who she is. She despises the typical ‘cancer kid’ profile: “The stoic and determined cancer victim who heroically fights her cancer with inhuman strength and never complains or stop smiling even at the very end.” She finds the entire idea of “fighting” cancer ridiculous, since you really have no say in the outcome anyway, and she would rather sit at home reading or thinking or watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model than proving to the world that she is worthy of their honor.

            This is largely why Augustus finds her so intriguing. While the two are very similar (they share a love of the book An Imperial Affliction, their desire to find out what became of Sisyphus the Hamster, and irritation at the ghettoization of eggs), they have greatly differing opinions on a great many things. One of these is the need to have a life (or death) that means something; furthermore, the need to be remembered after you are gone. Most people want what Augustus wants: To be remembered widely and forever (though forever is an inaccurate concept). Then there is the much smaller group who are happy with going through life without doing anything extraordinary to warrant anyone’s praise or admiration. Hazel is part of this ever decreasing group, yet one of the many things that makes her so fantastic according to Augustus.          

            Part of the reason Hazel feels this way is because she has seen more death than any girl of her age has a right to have seen. She has seen how many people are hurt by one person’s passing, and she merely wants to limit how many people she hurts when she is gone. She does this to the point of pushing Augustus away so he wouldn’t suffer from her eventual demise. Though quite noble, Augustus refuses to accept this. He believes that the majority of people would rather be blinded by the light when a star explodes than to have never seen it shine.

            Though she spends quite some time trying to keep herself secluded from everyone else, Augustus won’t back down. He does everything short of throwing rocks at her window to impress upon her that she is worth all the pain that might come from loving her. As he once said, “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

            William Shakespeare once said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars. But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” This is to say that no blame can be given to our circumstances, that it is our own human weakness that decides our fate. This cannot, however, be said concerning Hazel Graze Lancaster. One cannot blame her for being made of cancer. And one cannot really be surprised that she wants to limit the amount of pain she causes by her death. That fault clearly lies in her stars. But you can decide what you do with your circumstances; including where you go, what you believe, and who you love. Hazel chose to be in love, if only for a short while.

            “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.” ~The Fault in our Stars


This is the essay I wrote about "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green for my English class . The question I was supposed to answer was “Is Augustus a good or bad influence on Hazel, and why?” Hopefully, someone enjoys this and will read the book because of it.
Best wishes. ♥

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