The Fault in Our Stars

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The Fault in Our Stars Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One morning, a month after their trip to Amsterdam, Hazel visits Augustus. Augustus’ parents tell her he is sleeping, so she makes her way into the basement and finds Augustus there, speaking a language of his own creation. He had wet the bed. Hazel calls for his parents to clean him up.
Augustus’ health has taken a drastic turn for the worse. The boy who was confident and beautiful is gone. Wetting his bed suggests the way in which his cancer is drawing him back from adulthood toward dependence and his loss of control.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Being Different Theme Icon
When Augustus is awake and cleaned up, Hazel goes back into the basement and the play videogames. Augustus is so out of it that he can’t play the game or do the fancy heroics he used to do while playing. He tells Hazel that he is beginning to understand the word “mortified.” He notes that she used to call him Augustus, but now calls him Gus.
Augustus has lost the ability to live out his dream of being heroic, even in the video game. Using the word ‘mortified’ to signify his embarrassment connects it to death, as the root ‘mort’ in ‘mortified’ means death. By calling him Gus, Hazel unconsciously recognizes that he is no longer the Augustus that she knew.
Themes
Life and Death Theme Icon
Being Different Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy Theme Icon
Augustus tells Hazel that he used to think his name would be in all of the newspapers when he died, that he was special and would have a story worth telling. Hazel says that he is special. Hazel tells Augustus that she doesn't care about who writes an obituary about her, she just wants him to write one. She tells him she knows about him, and that should be enough. Hazel grows frustrated and tells Augustus she just wants to be enough for him. She tells him that this is his life—he gets her and his family.
Hazel refutes Augustus's philosophy that what is important in life is being remembered by a large number of people. Hazel believes that what is important is being remembered by the people who really love and know you. Her frustration comes from the fact that she does not feel like her love is enough for Augustus. Accepting that one’s life may not be immensely important to a large number of people is a part of coming of age, and Augustus is confronting this fact.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy Theme Icon