Friday, June 6, 2014

Fault In Our Stars - Symbolism

The Fault In Our Stars is a book about two teenagers that fall in love while trying to live in spite of their cancer. There are many examples of symbolism in this novel. Each one has some deep back story to it, and each one is equally important. Although some are deeper than others, like Augustus’ metaphorical killers, or Hazel’s grenade, they all express to very powerful points to the reader.

Hazel has an oxygen tank that she named Philip. Throughout the story Philip is a constant hassle. For example, in the book there are times when Hazel is trying to smell things. In order to really be able to smell she has to take her cannula out, but then she only has a little bit of time before she feels like she can’t breathe. A cannula is the rubber tube connected to the oxygen tank that feeds air to your nostrils. Also, while doing everyday activities like getting dressed, the cannula often gets stuck. Another problem with the oxygen tank, is that people notice it. When Hazel, Augustus and Hazel’s mom were in the airport waiting to board their flight to Amsterdam people were staring at her. “I could feel everybody watching us, wondering what was wrong with us, and whether it would kill us, and how heroic my mom must be, and everything else.”

After reading the fictitious book “An Imperial Affliction”, Hazel begins to think of herself as a metaphorical grenade. This idea begins to worry her on many occasions. She no longer wants to add new people to her life in fear that she will hurt them in the future. She says,“Gus I’m a grenade. One day I’m gonna blow up, and I going to obliterate everything in my wake, and I don’t want to hurt you.” In response to Gus’s statement where he says. “I hope you realise you trying to keep your distance from me in no way lessens my affection for you.”

On page 19 Augustus shocks both Hazel and the readers by pulling out a pack of cigarettes after a support group meeting where he had just talked about being in remission for a year and a half. Then Augustus Waters reached into a pocket and pulled out, of all things, a pack of cigarettes.He flipped it open and put a cigarette between his lips.” Then Hazel says:  “Are you serious?” I asked. “You think that’s cool? Oh my god you just ruined the whole thing”  Where Augustus replies: “They don’t kill you unless you light them,” he said as Hazel’s Mom arrived at the curb. “And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”

This book is about two teenagers falling in love. Throughout the book there are many symbolic or metaphorical points that have a powerful meaning. Each symbol is something that the characters rely on to live through their cancer.

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