The fault in our stars

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Language Arts
Reading Comprehension

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The fault in our stars

"Smoke And Mirrors" corresponds with the middle of The Fault in Our Stars, because both the singer and Hazel find themselves wanting to pretend that everything is fine, when in reality, it isn't. "Smoke And Mirrors" is calm for long stretches, then a burst of loud sound breaks through, as if the singer, who doesn’t want to accept that conflict is inevitable, finally sees for a second what is happening ("open up my mind") and is horrified, then suddenly tries to forget again. This is parallel with Hazel finally seeing reality during her trip to Amsterdam with Augustus, when she finally sees that Peter Van Houten is not nearly as wonderful as she imagined, and also begins to notice small moments of pain in Augustus that make her suspicious of how healthy he actually is. Like the singer, Hazel tries to pretend that nothing is wrong with Augustus and ignore the inevitability of change and problems, but this is not true, as she soon finds out that he has had a recurrence of cancer and will soon die.

Melinda BurnsMrs. KalasunasHonors English 9 (2)8 June 2015

"Plant Life" is about a person who is in grief because of a death and eternally waits for the horrors of his life to go away, but falls in love, letting him find his happiness again. In the beginning of The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel, the main character, similarly has extreme depression, because she has terminal cancer and feels like she has no reason to live any longer, choosing to give up and not persevere through her cancer. Just as the singer comes of his "old haunted house" and doesn't "feel dead anymore", Hazel finds Augustus, who gives her a reason to live by showing her his deep and sometimes hilarious observations about life. Both break out of their depression, thus finally choosing to persevere through their hard times and find "plant life", which symbolizes causes for happiness.

1: Plant Life by Owl City

2: Smoke And Mirrors by Imagine Dragons

“Terrible Things” follows a lovestory that is quite unlike the one in The Fault in Our Stars, but its end is exactly the same, as the love of the singer’s life dies of a sickness just as their relationship comes to its happiest point, when they are about to get married. This is what happens in the end of The Fault in Our Stars- at the end of their trip to Amsterdam, when Hazel and Augustus begin to more openly express their love for each other, Augustus breaks the news of his cancer recurrence, and just a few chapters later, he dies, showing some of the negative effects of conflict. In the song, though, the singer’s wife tells him before she dies that “you were the greatest thing that ever happened to me”, which is also Augustus’s sentiment in a letter Hazel finds from him about her after he dies, which conversely demonstrates the positive outcomes of conflict. However, Hazel and the singer of “Terrible Things” have very different outlooks on love in the end- in “Terrible Things”, the advice is given, “don’t fall in love, there’s just too much to lose”, while in the last lines of The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel declares that falling in love with Augustus was ultimately worth the pain, proving again that to some people, conflict can also seem to have effects that are positive.

3: Terrible Things by Mayday Parade



Theme: Perseverance


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