Symbolism In The Fault In Our Stars

1090 words - 5 pages

“[This] is very important to remember when reading or writing or talking or whatever: You are never, ever choosing whether to use symbols. You are choosing which symbols to use” (fishingboatproceeds 5). John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, believes that symbols in literature are necessary and can always be found, whether the author intended for them to be there or not. In this award-winning novel, a young girl named Hazel, who has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, is forced to attend a support group. While at the meeting, she meets another cancer victim, Augustus Waters, who attended only to support his friend Isaac. As Hazel and Augustus grow closer and fall for each other, ...view middle of the document...

Eventually, Hazel subconsciously allows the lines between her world and Anna’s fictional word to blur. She begins to connect the fate of her friends and family to those of the novel characters, and becomes obsessed with finding out what happens to them after the book ends (Sparknotes Editors 1). To quote Hazel herself, “I understood the story ended because Anna died or got too sick to write and this midsentence thing was supposed to reflect how life really ends and whatever, but there were characters other than Anna in the story, and it seemed unfair that I would never find out what happened to them” (Green, PAGE NUMBER). The book also symbolizes the healing value of fiction, as it helps Hazel cope with her disease. (Only if you read TFiOS 2) This symbol helps to show the importance of books and their effect on our lives.
“It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to do it’s killing” -Augustus Waters (Green, 20). In The Fault In Our Stars, cigarettes are a metaphor for control. Augustus uses the cigarettes as a way to feel in control of his fears, primarily cancer (Eby 2). To him they are a crutch to lean on when he feels afraid. As the story progresses, he reaches for his cigarettes more and more. In the gas station scene near the end of the novel, when Augustus’ is near
death, he tries to get back that feeling of control. (Shmoop Editorial Team, 1) His humiliation and dismay when he can no longer manage to even get some cigarettes pushes him over the edge, and he calls Hazel in tears, repeating over and over that he just wanted to buy some cigarettes. Augustus’ desire for control is a trait that can be found in most people, as almost everyone wants to cling to the illusion of control over their lives (Questions about Fault in Our Stars 2).
Water is undoubtedly one of the most prominent and important symbols in this novel. It is everywhere, from Hazels lungs to Augustus’ last name to the cities she visits. The two major settings of the novel, Amsterdam and Indianapolis, are both canal cities. They are both sustained and threatened by water, much like Hazel...

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