The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Hazel states that one of the worst clichés about cancer is that every cancer kid gets “The Last Good Day”, where the sufferer finds herself in a moment of reprieve form the pain of cancer. She says that the hardest part of this cliché is that one can never know what day is the Last Good Day, as opposed to just another bearable day.
Hazel continues to push back against cancer clichés. She seems to think the cliché of “The Last Good Day” has some truth to it, but it doesn't matter because one can never truly enjoy the last good day, because one never knows when it has arrived. This idea offers another existential conundrum Hazel confronts in the novel.
Themes
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Hazel takes a day off from visiting Augustus because she is not feeling well herself. Augustus calls that day and asks Hazel to prepare a eulogy. He tells her he loves her and then hangs up. When Hazel tells her parents that she needs to go see Augustus that night, they tell her that they feel like they never see her anymore. Mr. Lancaster takes a hold of her wrist, which makes her feel like a two-year-old. She argues that Mrs. Lancaster was the one who didn't want her to be a homebody. She tells her mother that she doesn't need her like she used to. She tries to leave, but her father has her wrist. She notes that all she wants is am “old-fashion teenager walkout”, but she is unable to because she can’t breathe.
In the midst of worrying about Augustus, Hazel forgets about her own poor health and gets run down. Her parents also notice how much energy she is putting into caring for Augustus, so they try to get her to stay home. The scene that unfolds shows the struggle of a young person’s demand for independence, even though they are not completely ready yet. Her cancer gets in the way of this process, because she is unable to do the things normal teenagers can do, like storm out of the room.
Themes
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Hazel eventually goes to her room and writes Augustus’ eulogy. She struggles to find the right words, and at 7:40 she realizes she will be late if she doesn't leave. As she tries to leave, her father tells her she cannot leave without his permission. She tells him Augustus wanted her to write a eulogy, and when he is dead she will be home every night. After this, her father is quiet, and she leaves.
Again, Hazel’s health and situation with Augustus makes her coming of age different than a normal teenager’s. While a normal teenager’s parent might have been more authoritative in this situation, Hazel is leaving for a serious reason, and uses this as leverage to get her dad to comply.
Themes
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At the church, Hazel waits for the elevator. When she reaches the bottom floor, she finds the support group chairs arranged as usual, but as she walks in she only sees Augustus, thin and sitting at the center of the circle of chairs in his wheelchair. Isaac is there, standing at the lectern. Augustus tells Hazel that he wanted to attend his own funeral, and asks her then if she will speak at his real funeral. He says he hopes he can attend his funeral as a ghost, but just in case wanted to have a pre-funeral.
Augustus' desire to attend his own funeral resembles Hazel’s desire to know what happens at the end of An Imperial Affliction—he wants to know what will happen after he dies. Augustus is mostly concerned with the question of whether he will be remembered, and he believes listening to Isaac and Hazel’s eulogies will give him insight into whether he will be remembered.
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Isaac begins his eulogy by saying that Augustus is a “self-aggrandizing bastard.” He notes how Augustus was constantly thinking metaphorically about everything in his life, and how he was so vain. He finishes by saying that even if scientists could five him his eyesight back, he wouldn't want it because he’d have to see a world without Augustus, but then having made his rhetorical point, he would take the eyes because they would probably include x-ray vision to see through girls shirts. After he is finished, Augustus suggests not saying anything about seeing through girl’s shirts. Isaac notes that only Augustus would edit his own eulogy.
Even in the somber environment, Isaac uses humor to get through the pain of his eulogy. His comment about x-ray vision shows the way in which like a typical teenage boy he is still interested in girls, even though he is blind. The eulogy gives Augustus the opportunity to know how he will be remembered after death. Augustus’ personality continues to show through, despite his illness, which pushes back against the cancer clichés Hazel hates.
Themes
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Then Hazel takes her turn at the lectern. She says that she will not share their love story because it should die with them. She turns to math, stating that there are infinite numbers between 0 and 1, and that there is an even larger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2. She says she is thankful for each little infinity she was able to spend with Augustus.
The fact that Hazel wants to keep the love story to herself shows how special it is to her. Instead, she turns toward Van Houten’s strange ramblings on Zeno’s paradox to think about their relationship. By thinking about the infinities between two number, Hazel is able to make the most out of the time they have had together.
Themes
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