The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 4

The author talks about Hazel rereading her favorite book titled An Imperial Affliction. The book gives a story about a girl named Anna who was surviving with blood cancer. Despite talking about cancer, the book narrates about living with the nightmare and the unconsciousness of death (Green 20). Hazel then remembers that she had promised to call Gus after reading his favorite book. But she decides to text him instead, chatting for a while before refusing to continue the conversation until Gus finishes reading An Imperial Affliction. Together with her mother, Hazel goes to the movies after which she receives four new texts from Gus, who has questions regarding the ending of the book. Therefore, she decides to call his phone with the aim of talking about the book, but hears Isaac sobbing in the background. Gus invites Hazel over so that the three youngsters may talk (Green 21). 

On arrival, the three sit and talk in Gus’s basement, as Isaac seems deeply hurt after his girlfriend leaves him on claims that she cannot deal with his unavoidable blindness. While the boys play video games, Isaac’s rage grew out of control and he began smashing everything around him. Trying to help, Gus gives Isaac his basketball trophies to smash and tells Hazel how he had been trying to find a way of explaining to his dad how he disliked basketball. Together, Gus and Hazel watch as Isaac continues to give in to rage and despair.


It is clear that Hazel’s appreciation and love for An Imperial Affliction deeply relate to her connection with Anna’s character. Just like Anna, Hazel sees cancer as part of her and she cannot let it define who she is as a person. On the other hand, Isaac cannot understand why his girlfriend was willing to be with him when he was one-eyed and not when he is totally blind. He even wonders how she is unable to deal with the fact that he is about to lose his eyesight. Gus requests Hazel to give Isaac some words of help but she declines by affirming that his “response is probably appropriate.” In turn, Gus supports her by quoting from An Imperial Affliction, saying “pain demands to be felt.”

Conversely, Gus’s mother could not deal with listening to Isaac’s wailing, and thus left the house in efforts of eluding the involvement. Gus’s father, on the other hand, never left the house despite the prevailing ordeal. Gus and Hazel were unable to lessen the pain exhibited by Isaac, and despite their encouragement efforts, Isaac’s reactions affirm that no one has the ability to remain completely strong in the face of cancer.

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