The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 6

Hazel tells her mother about the traveling plan she made with Gus. The worries portrayed by her mother receive a recommendation from Dr. Maria, who suggests that Mrs. Lancaster join the travel and keep an eye on Hazel’s health. Hazel also worries about having to make out with Gus considering their growing closeness over time. Despite finding him attractive, she still experiences a confusion over their relationship (Green 30). But more importantly, she does not wish to hurt him, especially since the death of his ex-girlfriend, Caroline, had hurt him deeply. She believes that the increasing intimacy can render him more vulnerable to being hurt after she dies. Hazel even decides to call Kaitlyn to seek advice, and she identifies the struggles undergone by both Caroline’s family and Gus after her death. She also notes that her shoulder continues to be painful, which has subsequently developed a headache.

At dinner, Hazel gets angry with her parents after they ask about her troubles. She articulates about her fears of hurting other people due to her illness. Later, she goes into her room and attempts to regain her composure by reading in private. In her view, it is better for her to stay at home, with her parents, so that she does not end up hurting others. Subsequently, she decides to text Gus informing him that they would not kiss. She expects him to understand, and he does. Her parents also give her their thought that the joy of having her greatly overweighs the pain of losing her (Green 31). Shortly after, she falls asleep and wakes up feeling more pain in her head than she did prior.


Hazel is particularly excited about meeting Van Houten and to finally have her questions answered. However, this trip to Amsterdam means that she will have to spend more time with Gus, where they will eventually get closer — since they already like each other. Previously, Hazel had successfully avoided in getting involved with other people by voluntarily imposing solitude on herself. However, she clearly wants to involve herself with Gus, and this trip creates the perfect opportunity for them. Naturally, she becomes torn between her strong feelings for Gus and the desire she has for limiting the number of people she has to hurt through her unavoidable death.

Green successfully describes the struggles experienced by Hazel by relating their intensity with a grenade, a device that may cause a sudden and unexpected explosion. To Hazel, her life is like that device, which may go off anytime and ruining the lives of the people she loves dearly. Similarly, the same happens to different people, especially those involved in romantic relationships. Different issues can sometimes prevent the development of such relationships, and most people opt to approach such situations with care and deliberation. The imminent death of a partner may put them under intensive stress considering that they will leave their loved ones hurt. The author uses the metaphor of a bomb to explain the intensity of the situation in the most powerful way.

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