People who have endured love and the obstacles it encompasses will agree that life is nothing without love. This idea is strongly exemplified in the novel The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. In this teenage romance, a plethora of health related obstacles are thrown at Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who live extremely difficult lives. Nevertheless, both teenagers keep their love for each other alive and everlasting. This novel conveys a heartfelt theme followed by competently developed characters that contribute to the story’s message. The Fault in Our Stars is an exemplary model of the phrase love above all else by using an emotive theme as well as authentic characters to illustrate this point.
John Green, the author of this novel, has overcome many challenges in his life. Though these threats might have been perceived as an assault to his mental state, they later contributed to his unique perspective on life. This view is what is translated through his literary work. Many of his artistic techniques and sensibilities are based on his arduous experiences as a child. According to famousauthors.org, John Green was born on August 24th, 1977 in Indiana, Indianapolis but was actively nomadic for the first three weeks of his life. Him and his family finally settled in Orlando, Florida, where he spent his childhood. Unfortunately, Florida was also the site where his experiences with bullying commenced. In an interview with Irish Independent News, cited from independent.ie, John Green reflects on those moments in his life where he was emotionally at his lowest due to bullying.
In spite of the upheaval it placed on him, he adds that these difficult periods of his life were instrumental to his literary works by stating, ‘I spent a lot of time at the Laundromat and brought a longhand notebook and tried to write stories. But I ended up writing notes of encouragement to myself. ‘You’ll be okay’, ‘things get easier’… and you know what? They do.’ Furthermore, another aspect of his childhood that influenced the writing approach of this novel is where he was born. As mentioned previously, John Green was born in the state of Indianapolis, which is one of the main settings The Fault in our Stars takes place in. What makes the usage of this particular setting even more special, is that he incorporated actual locations found in the area.
For example, on page 242 in the novel, Augustus cries to Hazel over the phone imploring for her help. When Hazel asks for his location he replies, “The Speedway at Eighty-sixth and Ditch,” a justified gas station and road found in Indiana, Indianapolis. Another factor that greatly influenced John Green’s literary view is the education he received in college. According to famousauthors.org, John Green attended Kenyon College and graduated in 2000 with two degrees in English and Religious Studies. On August 21, 2012, approximately eight months after the novel was released, the author posted a Youtube video addressing his interpretation on the commonly asked question, “Is College Worth It?” In the video, he states, “Education gave me perspective and context.
Whether you are studying electrical engineering or poetry, college is not finally about maximizing income, it is about becoming a better and more informed observer of the universe.” Embodying the mentality of a mindful watcher allowed John Green to translate his observations into his unique way of writing. After graduating, John Green became an active student chaplain at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, according to thefamouspeople.com. During his time there, he met numerous children suffering from deadly illnesses and learned all about their inspiring stories. It was that significant life experience that motivated him to write The Fault In Our Stars. These prominent aspects of John Green’s life have all made a substantial contribution to his writing sensibilities and overall literary career.
The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two vagrant teenagers trying to find their place in the world, while fighting battles against terminal illness. Even so, both teenagers discover their love for each other and use it as a motive to keep moving forward. The novel accentuates a variety of strong messages including the importance of family, grief, and the fear of the unknown. However, what ties all of these ideas together is the dominant theme of love’s inability to fail. John Green incorporated parts of this theme into the two main characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, through their distinctive personalities and disposition.
The underlying nature of the two characters prove this theme of love’s power to inevitably prevail. For example, on page 153 in the novel, Augustus reveals his profound feelings for Hazel by saying, “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
John Green adroitly illustrated both literary elements in such a way that is captivating towards any audience who indulges into his figurative realm. One audience in particular, the literary critics who evaluated this novel, agree with this statement. For example, “People Magazine” states, “Green writes with empathy about some of the biggest questions there are- Why me? Why now? Why bother with love?- producing a story about two incandescent kids who will live a long time in the minds of the readers who come to know them.” It is through John Green’s undeniable mastery of superlative literature that his audience is able to fully immerse themselves into his enthralling storylines.
The Fault in Our Stars exhibits a deep and meaningful theme that is not only revealed through the temperament of the characters, but meticulously carried throughout the novel. John Green proficiently encapsulated all aspects of love’s unconditional endurance into this exceptional work of fiction. In simpler terms, as Booklist magazine phrases it, “In its every aspect, this novel is a triumph.”
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