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The Necessities of Suffering- The Fault in our Stars

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”– John Green

Book Intro

The book is about the love story between Augustus and Hazel, a boy and a girl with cancer. They are fond of each other and give each other comforts, and slowly they become inseparable. Through all the obstacles between them, the author deals with the themes of life and death, the unsensitiveness of the universe and the beauty of love.

Book Recommendation

rating: 3/5

The book is beautifully crafted and the language is very impressive. The story is also heartbreaking. If you enjoy reading emotional novels, it would be a perfect book to read. Nonetheless, I still recommend this to everyone because it will echo with something deep inside your heart.

book cover

The Necessities of Suffering

—Book review of The Fault In Our Stars

       As the famous line in the heartbreaking novel The Fault in Our Stars goes,” the world is not a wish-granting factory”. Things don’t always develop in a way we expect them to, and suffers and pains are inevitable in our lives. However, they are not simply like grenades that mess with us and explode our universe. By contrast, suffering could benefit us and its side effects are more influential than we  imagine. In the book, Green believes and argues that suffering is necessary in our lives because it reveals and shapes our personalities and spirits, serve as the prerequisite of happiness and can lead us to a better future.

       During a conversation about suffering and struggles, Augustus tells Hazel that ” grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you”. Putting the controversy of whether struggling and suffering change us aside, it is undoubtedly true that the trials and hardships people go through can reveal their true spirits. Augustus shows his strength and determination as well as his love for Hazel when he finishes writing the epilogue for the book even though he is constantly unconscious because of his illness. Under such condition, he is able to stay mentally stable and sober and drafts lines in order to”leave a mark” after his death. Likewise, Hazel reveals her mental strength by cherishing her life and living happily after the death of her lover and fighting against her disease on a daily basis. Her struggles and suffers show that she has a very strong mindset and is able to withstand and go beyond such pains and devastation. It is arguable if suffering could actually shape or change people, but even if they can’t, they can at least enclose our abilities of dealing with the misfortunes and turning them to the opposites.

       Just like the many flavors in the world, there are so many feelings a human can sense in the world. Without the feeling of bitterness and pain, people would never be able to feel happy. As the question goes, “without pain, how could we know joy”? The feeling of pain and joy are contrasting things, and with their huge difference, people can truly understand these feelings and cherish both. Without the unpleasant acquaintance with the writer Van Houten in Amsterdam, Hazel and Augustus would not be able to come to cherish the fancy dinner and happy time they spend in the city. The feelings of pain teach them to cherish the feelings of being free, healthy and happy, and they are able to spend the time in a way they wouldn’t regret. Everyone is familiar with the proverb “no pain, no gain”. One of the most important things we gain from the pain is the sense of happiness and pleasure, which is extremely valuable and beneficial to our lives.

       All the struggles and suffers are parts of our life experiences and help to build up a complete life and more importantly lead people to a better future. At the end of the novel, when things start going up like a roller coaster, Hazel completely discards the thought of seeking death, and admits that “I couldn’t get over how happy I was, crying genuine tears of actual happiness for the first time in maybe forever”. As a teenager, she suffers so much both physically and psychologically, from her own cancer, and from the disease that takes away the life of her best friend. She loses so much but also gains a lot from all these experiences. Augustus once says that “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend”. It is true that Hazel’s life is like riding on a roller coaster, but she learns to always stay positive and be grateful for her life. After numerous ups and downs, Hazel’s life starts going up and that is the result of her struggles and pains and her optimism and mental strength.

       There are moments when people are in great despair because of their struggles, and they might get tired of the suffers. But it is always inspiring to keep in mind that the pains we take in would eventually become part of us, or come out as something beautiful that we never expect. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and even if it doesn’t, it reveals us, gives us happiness and lead us to a better future.

Information: The Fault in our Stars- John Green

Date: 12/10/2018 revised in June, 2019

Revision comments: I didn’t revised much and only changed some grammar and wording. I think that the essay can be more organized in general and that requires a lot more revision and effort.


Published by Sunny

I am a high school rising sophomore and I love to read and write.

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