Saturday, November 2, 2013
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If you like: cancer * books that become obsessions * ANTM
The Fault In Our Stars is the story of Hazel and Augustus, two teens with cancer who fall in love. In spite of the circumstances of their meeting, the two are able to embrace the weightless joy of love that many long to experience. Finding a relationship where both participants are on equal footing while one has a terminal illness can be extremely difficult — which is what makes them so perfect for each other. Their impending future shapes their relationship, but it is also not the sole thing it is base around. Though it is the story of kids with cancer, it is not only a story of kids with cancer.
Illness is something that modern society has yet to fully understand how to deal with. The Fault In Our Stars portrays many of the most common reactions. There are those who cannot face the challenge of a loved one living in constant pain, and must ignore it until they can’t and then they leave. Then there are those who base their entire selves on platitudes and empowering phrases. These people have the idea of comfort, but make it impossible for the person they are directing their empowerment at to live up to their expectations. Dying with grace and love in your heart is just not possible. There are also those who would chose to ignore their limitations and attempt to have a normal life. Though it seems as those these people are in denial of their reality, their are inspiring in their own way. Each person knows that eventually their end will come, but someone with terminal cancer is confronted by their end constantly. Instead of allowing this to restrict their hopes and joys, it only focuses the precision of their pursuit. These are the people that granting wishes is made for. Not choosing to let the limitations of their condition stop them from fully wishing makes their wishes all the better.
The Fault In Our Stars also peers behind the curtain that sounds our favorite things. It is so easy to become ultra focused on a certain book, play, TV show, band, or person. For some, becoming the master of every aspect of their passion allows them to enjoy it more. However, knowing the dark side of the thing you love can ruin it. There are some things that can never live up to the expectations of our imaginations. Sometimes, knowing what happens beyond what is written cannot compare to all of the infinite possibilities. When you spend your time imagining your own perfect ending, and build up the idea of what it should be, the true thing can rarely do anything but disappoint. A person in love with the soundtrack to a musical can find themselves disappointed when they see the show for the first time, and the restrictions of theatrical reality cannot compare to their boundless imagination. The same can be said for readers rabidly awaiting the final installment of their favorite series. No book can encompass everything they have set their mind to. No villain’s fall or hero’s success can possibly compare to the victory in the reader’s mind. Though we rarely trust ourselves to compete with the creator of our beloved obsessions, the fact is that reality often disappoints. The Fault In Our Stars implores its readers to remember that dreams are not reality, but embracing them does us no harm. The harm lives in the sad truth. Allow yourself to pour your vision into the real world that surrounds you, instead of the fantasy that inspires your dreams. Once you are willing to marvel at the everyday, you can incorporate the joy of your imagination into becoming the author of your own story. Each day is like a fresh page. We may not be able to determine when the conclusion occurs, but we can make sure it is the kind of story we would love to read.
If you don’t let your limitations stop you from choosing your own destiny, read The Fault In Our Stars.
Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Penguin Group US, 2012. Kindle Edition.