Essay on Identity in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Essay on Identity in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

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Self-Identity in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
People with cancer often begin to define themselves based on their experience with their illness, this self-definition through one’s cancer is one that the characters fear in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The novel shows how the characters strive to discover their identities, but despite that are still identified by their illness. The novel also makes the argument that young people with cancer are not any more virtuous or different than other kids rather, they are just normal kids living with an illness. Augustus wants to be remembered and also be more than just a boy who battled cancer, but despite his efforts is still identified by his illness.

The character Augustus strives to not allow the cancer become his identity, rather to be remembered for something bigger than his illness. Augustus changes a lot from when he is first introduced at the beginning of the book till the final chapters before his death. When Hazel Grace first meets Augustus Waters at the support group she describes him as an attractive, strong and normal boy. It’s later during support group she finds out that he Augustus, once suffered from cancer and is now in remission. He attends the support group only as a companion for his friend Isaac who is a few days away from losing his eyesight. As the support group discussions go on, Augustus is asked what his fears are and he replies “Oblivion” (Green, 12) Augustus wants his life to mean more, rather than to just be forgotten when he dies. After each support group meeting a prayer is said with the list of all the members who have passed away added at the end. “And we remember in our hearts those whom we knew and loved who have gone home to you; Maria and ...

... middle of paper ..., that we are underlings” (Shakespeare 1.2.9)
The quote suggests that unfortunate events happen not because of destiny but because of the fault in characters. The three main teenage characters in this book suffer from a fate, which has in no way been caused by their actions but rather their destiny. Unlike the other characters Augustus fights to not let his destiny impact his choices, he strives to be seen as more than his illness. Augustus goes through the same struggles as any normal teenager and also the struggles of a cancer patient. Though his fate won the battle, till his death he fought being defined by his illness.

Works Cited

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. New York: Dutton, 2012. Print.
Mabillard, Amanda. Quotations from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Shakespeare Online. 26 Feb. 2013. < >

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