The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars Literary Elements


Young Adult Fiction

Setting and Context

Indiana and Amsterdam, 2010s

Narrator and Point of View

Hazel narrates the story in first person.

Tone and Mood

The book, though concerned with cancer and death at a young age, keeps a humorous, witty, and chipper tone throughout most of the story, though it has moments of realistic sorrow.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Hazel is the story's protagonist. Though it could be argued that cancer is the story's antagonist, Hazel herself argues that this is not the case.

Major Conflict

Hazel does not want to get into a relationship with Augustus because she fears that she will hurt him if her illness worsens and/or she dies. However, this conflict is shifted and intensified when Augustus's cancer returns worse than ever before.


Augustus asks Hazel and Isaac to hold a funeral for him that he is able to attend. They hold it in the room where they met at support group and Isaac and Hazel both give heartfelt eulogies. A week later, Gus dies and Hazel is left to cope for the remainder of the story.


The return of Gus's illness is foreshadowed by the loud fight he has with his parents just before leaving for Amsterdam and by the pain and instability he shows throughout the beginning of their trip.




Green makes many allusions to classic literature, poetry, and art. Most notably, the title of the book is an allusion to the play "Julius Caesar" by Shakespeare.


Green, though an adult himself, writes his teenage characters with incredible care toward the complexity of their emotion and thought. Their lives and mental spaces are full of imagery, created linguistically through complex concepts explained, in most cases, in fairly simple vocabulary.





Metonymy and Synecdoche



Hazel and Augustus both personify elements of their illness - Hazel her oxygen tank and Augustus his prosthetic leg.