Study Guide

The Fault in Our Stars Mortality

By John Green


Chapter 2
Hazel Grace Lancaster

There are a number of ways to establish someone's approximate survival expectations without actually asking. (2.9)

Hazel is, unfortunately, used to the issues of mortality. It's not unusual for her to think about survival expectations or the probability of death. But that doesn't make it any easier.

Chapter 3

"I mean, I would just die—" and then stopped short, looking at me as if to say I'm sorry, as if it were a crime to mention death to the dying. (3.55)

Oh, awkward moments at the mall. We all say stuff like this, and it seems like Hazel recognizes that fact. She's not expecting people to completely change the way they think and talk just to be nice. Although wait a second… she kind of does that, doesn't she?

Chapter 5
Hazel Grace Lancaster

And yet still I worried. I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it. Worry is yet another side effect of dying. (5.4)

Thinking about death can make any of us a little anxious. Actually dying, well, that's a whole different ballgame.

Chapter 7
Hazel Grace Lancaster

I digress, but here's the rub: The dead are visible only in the terrible lidless eyes of memory. The living, thank heaven, retain the ability to surprise and to disappoint. (7.43)

Does Peter Van Houten prefer people who are alive or dead? Is he haunted by mortality or is he just a jerk?

Chapter 8
Hazel Grace Lancaster

If I could just stay alive for a week, I'd know the unwritten secrets of Anna's mom and the Dutch Tulip Guy. (8.100)

Hazel thinks about everything in terms of how long she can survive. Is that a pessimistic way to live her life?

Chapter 10

"I happen to know the answer to that question," he said. "There are seven billion living people, and about ninety-eight billion dead people." (10.107)

Morbid curiosity gets the best of all of us. Even the dying.

Chapter 20
Augustus "Gus" Waters

"I'm hopefully I'll get to attend as a ghost, but just to make sure, I thought I'd—well, not to put you on the spot, but I just this afternoon thought I could arrange a prefuneral…" (20.38)

Augustus organizes his own prefuneral so he can hear what Isaac and Hazel have to say about him. What do you think: morbid or brave?

Chapter 21
Hazel Grace Lancaster

Augustus Waters died eight days after his prefuneral, at Memorial, in the ICU, when the cancer, which was made of him, finally stopped his heart, which was also made of him. (21.1)

Hazel and Augustus spent a lot of time contemplating their mortality. But was Hazel prepared for this moment?

My parents came in then, looking expectant, and I just nodded and they fell into each other, feeling, I'm sure, the harmonic terror that would in time come for them directly. (21.3)