The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

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Chapter 16 Summary

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As Augustus gets sicker, Hazel falls into the habit of spending most days at his house. She always shows up around noon, after he has eaten breakfast and vomited most of it up. He comes to the door in his wheelchair, looking frail and sick. She privately misses the bright, healthy boy she met a few months ago.

Hazel typically eats lunch with Augustus’s parents while Augustus just watches. He claims to be feeling “grand,” but he also admits that he is too tired to write the sequel of An Imperial Affliction he promised to write after their disappointing meeting with Van Houten. Hazel asks Augustus to tell it to her instead, and he makes a few predictions about what will happen to the characters in the story. However, he has not yet figured out the answer to Hazel’s big question about the main character’s mom.

Augustus’s parents seem to be trying to enjoy and remember every moment they have left with their son. They watch him all the time. Sometimes Hazel and Augustus go outside to sit in the backyard alone, but his parents still watch them through the windows.

In the afternoon, Augustus’s parents insert food and medicine directly into his stomach through a tube called a G-tube. Everyone sits around watching old home videos for a while, and eventually Augustus asks to take a nap. Hazel goes down to his room with him, and they make out a little. However, they mostly just sleep, both of them tangled in tubes.

After their nap, Hazel and Augustus usually play his favorite video game, Counterinsurgence 2: The Price of Dawn. Hazel is awful at the game, but this is a good thing from Augustus’s perspective. It makes it possible for him to “die beautifully” by leaping in front of bullets to save her.

Augustus continues to struggle with the idea that he is going to die without having made any good effect on the world. Hazel considers pretending to choke so that he can give her the Heimlich maneuver and perhaps feel that his life has made its mark. Ultimately she does not try this; she worries that he will figure her out and feel even worse. Cancer patients lose a lot of dignity during their treatment, and Hazel is reluctant to harm Augustus’s dignity further.

In the evening, Hazel goes home for dinner with her parents, but every morning, she gets up and visits Augustus again.

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Chapter 17 Summary