The Fault in Our Stars | Study Guide

John Green

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Fault in Our Stars Study Guide." Course Hero. 3 Oct. 2017. Web. 20 Jan. 2019. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, October 3). The Fault in Our Stars Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The Fault in Our Stars Study Guide." October 3, 2017. Accessed January 20, 2019.


Course Hero, "The Fault in Our Stars Study Guide," October 3, 2017, accessed January 20, 2019,

The Fault in Our Stars | Chapter 5 | Summary



Four days later, Gus and Hazel discuss An Imperial Affliction with the added news that Gus was able to get in contact with the notoriously reclusive author. He gives Hazel the email, and Hazel writes Van Houten with questions she has about the novel. She receives an email from Peter only to find out that the author will only answer her questions about the book in person.

Stricken with guilt over the amount of money her mother and father have spent on her, she is unable to bring herself to ask for a trip to Amsterdam. Gus arrives at her home a day later, taking her to a Dutch-made sculpture for a Dutch-inspired picnic in order to tell her he has decided to use his Wish from the Genie Foundation, which grants desires to children with life-threatening illnesses, to visit Van Houten in Amsterdam and she must come along. Hazel is overjoyed. During this time Hazel worries over the increased pressure she feels in her lungs and a developing pain in her shoulder, but she tries to comfort herself with the knowledge that a PET scan is approaching in a couple of weeks.


When Hazel asks why Isaac is obsessing over Monica, he argues that "I believe in true love, you know? I don't believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last as least as long as your life does." This conversation with Hazel comes at a time when she is still struggling to fully embrace a friendship with Gus because she worries about the inevitability of her imminent death and the need to feel as if she is limiting the harm she is doing toward other people. Even so, it is now clear how Gus feels about her as epitomized by the use of his Wish to bring her with him to Amsterdam. At the same time, the lack of enthusiasm in Van Houten's emails suggest the author may not be excited to answer the questions Hazel is bent on getting answered.

Hazel's decision to ignore the pain in her lungs and shoulder is a coping strategy, actually a necessity during illness. Cancer sufferers struggle to maintain some semblance of normalcy and remain positive. At times that must feel like the most difficult aspect of living with a painful disease like cancer, even worse than dealing with the pain itself. But pain is and has been an integral part of Hazel's life for several years. After some time people adapt, and they learn to live with the pain. Green is showing us this reality, shedding light on the courage and fortitude, but like Hazel, he does not want that to be the focus, the defining effect of cancer on people.

The author also wants to underline the worry seriously ill people feel; they fear death, which for some is often imminent. Green, however, using the voice of a teenage girl, is able to get that across here without sentimentality or a lot of words. Because of the strong empathy for Hazel that Green has already established, readers can't help but notice every ounce of pain or worry she feels. The author does not have to spend pages on the maudlin details of the disease and force readers through long, sad hospital or death scenes. A sentence or paragraph here and there to remind the reader is all that's needed.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Fault in Our Stars? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!