Study Guide

Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green


Whenever there's a blind character in literature, you can bet he or she is probably pretty insightful. Think back all the way to Tiresias, the blind prophet of ancient Greek mythology. He doesn't have eyesight, but he can see into the future. Well, Isaac may not have prophetic visions, but he is able to see the big picture.

Emotional Shrapnel

Isaac is kind of awesome, if you ask us. He's a true friend to both Hazel and Augustus, and seems like a stand-up guy. But when he loses his eyesight from cancer his not-so-awesome girlfriend, Monica, breaks up with him. Isaac is devastated:

"Well, I believe in true love," Isaac said. "And I love her. And she promised. She promised me always." (4.96) 

Our guys wishes that he didn't care so much, but he does. And he wishes that Monica cared too. The breakup leads to anger, too: "Isaac stomped on them and screamed while Augustus and I stood a few feet away bearing witness to the madness"(4.107). Isaac reminds us that cancer isn't just sad; it's also frustrating and plain old unfair.

Third Wheel?

Isaac might seem like kind of a third wheel, which makes us wonder, why is he a character in this book? Well, if you ask us, he makes us ask a lot of important questions:

  • Should love between a boyfriend and girlfriend be unconditional? Is Monica a bad person, or is she just scared?
  • Is it okay to get angry at the world when bad stuff happens to you?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?

And maybe most importantly, Isaac teaches us about friendship. He is always there for Augustus—up to the very end—just like Augustus was there for him when he had the surgery that removes his eyes. They really know how to stick together, just like friends should.