The Fault in Our Stars | Study Guide

John Green

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The Fault in Our Stars | Chapter 9 | Summary



Hazel decides to go to the support group for the first time since meeting Gus. It's the day before her trip to Amsterdam. She finds some of the people are about the same, others have passed away, and yet others are new. She finds Isaac there and walks over, taking a seat next to him. He invites her over to his house and tells her Gus seems only to want to talk about her. Isaac asks if she likes him, and she admits she does. He asks her why she doesn't want to make out with Gus, if she is afraid of getting hurt. She counters it is the other way around. She is more afraid, not that he will be her Monica, but she will be his Isaac. Isaac says, "What'd I do to her?" Hazel replies, "You know, going blind and everything." She says it wasn't his fault he went blind, but it wasn't a very "nice" thing to do.


Hazel continues to be torn by competing feelings of attraction for Gus and the need to decrease the amount of pain she is causing for the people around her. Her return to the support group and Isaac is an attempt to clarify her feelings for Gus. She is struck by the unfairness of life; despite hating when people feel sympathy toward her, she finds she cannot feel much of anything but sympathy for Isaac. Equally, while she agrees that what Monica did to Isaac was unfair, she argues it was equally unfair of the universe to ask Monica to love Isaac while taking away his eyesight. She acknowledges it wasn't his fault, but it was unfair all the same. Through her commentary on Isaac and Monica's relationship, Hazel admits her own fear of causing pain to Augustus even though her illness is nothing she can control.

At the same time that she feels responsible for the effects it causes, she recognizes she has no control over the cancer in her body. During the cancer support meeting, a fellow member, Lida, comments that Hazel is an inspiration to her. Hazel reacts negatively, bitterly remarking she would prefer to have Lida's remission. To Hazel, there is nothing heroic or inspirational in her battle against cancer. Instead it is a matter of luck. This is perhaps no better characterized than by the changes that have occurred to the support group itself. Even though only a short period of time has passed, Hazel notices that large changes have occurred to the group as cancer patients die or heal, and some are in the same position as when she had last been. There is seemingly no pattern, and in part because of this loss of control over her cancer, Hazel feels she needs to exert control where she can. This is part of the reason why she refuses to become close to more people than necessary in her life. If she cannot control whether or not she has cancer, she believes she should be able to control the amount of damage she does.

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