The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 1

Hazel Grace Lancaster begins the story by telling the reader that her mother thinks she is depressed. She does not deny that she is somehow fixated on death, and considers everything, including her cancer, as a side effect of dying. Together with her doctor, her mother agreed that there is a need for her to join a weekly cancer support group. Hazel introduces herself to the group, stating that she is sixteen, and previously diagnosed with thyroid cancer that had also spread to her lungs. The group’s leader name is Patrick, where he continuously says that they meet at the heart of Jesus since the group’s meeting point is in a cross-shaped church basement, which is directly at the point where the heart of Jesus would be. She dislikes the sharing parts of the group, when most people talk about how they are winning the fight. Yet, the only part of the group that Hazel likes is when Isaac, a guy who lost one of his eye due to cancer, talks about the possibility of losing the remaining one.

After several weeks, Hazel goes to the group’s meeting and is surprised by the presence of a new boy who directly stares at her. His name is Augustus Waters, and his purpose for attending the meeting is to offer support to Isaac. Augustus survived osteosarcoma, and his greatest fear is “Oblivion,” that people will forget him when he dies. After the end of the meeting, Hazel is introduced to Augustus by Isaac, who says that Hazel reminds him of V for Vendetta’s Natalie Portman. The two begin to flirt, mocking the location of the meeting (Green 11). They also watch Isaac make out with his girlfriend, Monica. With a cigarette between his lips, Augustus asks Hazel to join him at his place and watch V for Vendetta (Green 12). Hazel is disgusted and is convinced that the cigarette is Augustus’s fatal flaw, until he explains to her that the cigarette is a metaphor for putting something that causes cancer, and can possibly kill him, between his teeth, and not lighting it, denying it the power to kill him.


Functionally speaking, this chapter is dense with various introductions concerning the characters, setting, background, as well as the tone. First and foremost, the reader meets Hazel Grace Lancaster, the narrator and chief protagonist of the novel, and becomes acquainted with the skeptical manner in which she views the world. In this chapter, Hazel’s jadedness forms the basis of her friendships. With Isaac, they communicate, via their groans, at the inexorable and sentimentality of the support group, which also brings about an instant attraction between them. The chapter also introduces various other significant elements: Augustus’s cigarette, an important symbol in the book; and the overall motif of metaphors — the existential motif. 

Have study documents to share about The Fault in Our Stars? Upload them to earn free Studypool credits!