The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 7

This chapter starts by talking about Hazel’s moment of waking up to an immense amount of pain, where its intensity makes her wish that she was dead. The pain comes because of a fluid that has filled her lungs, preventing oxygen from reaching her brain. The condition needs immediate medical attention, and she is subsequently taken to the hospital where the doctors manage to drain the fluid from her lungs. After the process, she stays in the hospital for six days under close medical care, and during this period Gus sticks around waiting to see her and anticipating her response to them being together. On the last day, Hazel allows Gus to visit, and tells him that their trip is still on despite the reminder that they can only be friends. Gus agrees, and subsequently hands Hazel a handwritten letter from Van Houten in response to his original letter, stating his condition and Hazel’s sickness. Gus had also indicated about their love life, claiming it to be doomed. However, Van Houten seems to agree with Hazel’s idea of avoiding getting close to Gus. The letter makes Hazel feel the urge of going to Amsterdam, and seeks advice from her parents, as well as the doctor on international travel.


Spending six days in hospital can be painful for most people, and especially so for Hazel and Augustus. Hazel spends most of the time sleeping and in pain. Her parents come to visit her, yet she cannot allow Gus to see her in such pain and weakness. Nonetheless, Gus takes the situation with the utmost maturity, and with a sense of humor. He even gives Hazel the letter he received from Van Houten, an indication that he clearly understands her situation. In addition, the letter shows that Gus needed help in making the decision about accepting Hazel’s proposal on their relationship remaining purely platonic. 

Van Houten’s letter also gives the reader an insight into his character. Clearly, Houten wonders about the unfairness and cruelty of fate, indicating that death leads to nothing for the dying, and those left behind. He believes that Hazel should spare Gus the pain of her death, as it may become impossible to overcome. He compares the pain with his own experience after his daughter left him in immense pain, one that he has been unable to recover from fully.

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