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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Novel and Movie Analysis

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The Fault in Our Stars is a novel written by John Green that mirrors life and death through two cancer patients, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. Hazel has been struggling with thyroid cancer since she was 13, while Augustus has been struggling with osteosarcoma. The two of them met at a cancer support group where they fell deeply in love and fought together till one of them just couldn’t anymore. Likewise, the movie was directed by Josh Boone with Shailene Woodley playing Hazel Grace and Ansel Elgort playing Augustus Waters. Unfortunately, the novel and movie show quite a few differences and similarities. Some differences were characters that didn’t stand out and characters that were not exposed in the movie, while some similarities were the authenticity of dialogue and the shaping of a person’s view of things.

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To begin with, both the novel and movie had, Augustus’s best friend, Isaac. Isaac is one of the supporting characters in The Fault in Our Stars, but he was not mentioned in the movie. In the novel, it explained Isaac’s character more than in the movie by explaining Isaac’s eye cancer, retinoblastoma. He had one glass eye and one real eye, but later on, it was removed leaving him NEC (No Evidence of Cancer) but he was blind. Moreover, Isaac had a girlfriend, Monica. Isaac and Monica had promised each other to “always” love each other. However, when Isaac found out that he needs surgery and he was going to become blind, Monica broke up with him in fear.

The other difference between both the novel and the movie is Augustus’s former girlfriend, Caroline Mathers, which was only mentioned in the novel when Hazel and Augustus were talking about their first kisses. Caroline Mathers died of brain cancer a few years earlier and this weighed heavily on Hazel’s mind. During the Amsterdam trip, Hazel looks her up, and she finds pictures and comments of her. Caroline was a miserable, cruel, and moody girl due to her brain tumor, which lead her to make fun of Augustus’s missing leg at some point. To add, at the beginning of the novel, it mentioned Augustus staring at Hazel for a long time when they first met at the cancer support group, but it was only because she and Caroline Mathers looked quite alike.

However, the novel and movie did not only have differences but similarities as well. One touching similarity was the use of the word “okay”. To start, Augustus’s best friend, Issac, had a girlfriend they would tell each other “always” as a way to say “I love you”. This lealeadszel and Augustus to use “okay” to symbolize their deep love for each other, and “okay” as their “always”, as in they will always love each other, always be there for each other, and will always stick together no matter what happens to them.

Another similarity between the novel and the movie is the importance of the cigarette. The cigarette in both the novel and movie is a huge part that makes Augustus’s character stand out. When Augustus takes out a cigarette after the support group, Hazel is shocked to see him putting it in his mouth, but Augustus only uses a cigarette as a metaphor for illness. In both cases, Augustus said, “You put the killing thing between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to do its killing”. Augustus keeps the cigarette unlit and in his mouth as an expression of his power over an illness. The cigarettes, however, become a source of control in Augustus’s life to feel controlled by different fears. Nevertheless, at some point the presence of cigarettes diminishes, leading Augustus to lose control over his cancer when Hazel finds him at the gas station before he attempts to buy cigarettes. His attempt of buying cigarettes, and failing, his cancer took over, and he couldn’t control the outcome of his life anymore.

In conclusion, the novel The Fault in Our Stars by John Green did a great job representing the meaning of life and death throughout the story, including the meaning of the title, but no novel and movie are the same. Even if both the novel and movie had certain differences, the most important facts about the story were kept. Overall, the movie is close to the novel because they both did an amazing job expressing important life skills.  

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