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Comparison Between The Fault In Our Stars And Of Mice And Men

1754 words - 8 pages

When was the last time you felt certain of your impending future? For cancer survivor, Hazel, the answer is never. In The Fault in Our Stars, sixteen year old Hazel lives with cancer and attends a support group where she meets Augustus, another young cancer survivor who changes her outlook on the world forever. He takes Hazel on an adventure of love, friendship, and pain, and together they yearn to have authority over their uncontrollable fates. Isaac, a blind teenager, and Hazel’s mom also play significant roles in her life. Similarly, in Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie strengthen their friendship through love and suffering, and they learn that humans have some control over their end destination. At the ranch they work at, Lennie and George have to choose how they want their lives to turn out, which directly impacts the choices they will make regarding the future. While John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men both establish motifs of friendship, games, and hands, they convey different universal ideas about humanity. In particular, Green suggests that humans cannot always manipulate every situation, while Steinbeck focuses on the ideas that men often have a choice in their destinies.
In each novel, Green and Steinbeck use the motif of friendship to illustrate a different theme. Green uses the motif of friendship to create the idea that humans can’t always determine the outcome of life. Hazel has many trials regarding her cancer, such as her breathing and the ability to make friends, as she is afraid of hurting others if she dies. Augustus becomes her friend when he is able to understand her pain: he never left her side again. In one instance, Hazel wakes up in the ICU and the nurse informs her, “Well, there’s a kid who has hardly left the waiting room since you got here’” (Green, 108). Augustus stayed at the hospital, eagerly awaiting to see his friend again. His dedication to Hazel during her difficult times is enough to keep up her confidence, even when neither of them know what their lives will be like in the impending future. Augustus' love for Hazel is on more than a ‘just-friends’ level, as he makes clear when he says, “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” (Green, 153). The love is platonic, which Hazel proves in her eulogy at his funeral: “‘But Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful’” (Green, 260). The love exchanged between Hazel and Augustus is tangible; they support each other, even when everything else is uncertain. Whereas in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses the motif of friendship to imply that men do...

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