The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

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Chapter 19 Summary

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Augustus spends a few days in the hospital, and afterward he seems to have resigned himself to a total loss of independence and a pitiful death. His parents set up a hospital bed in the living room, and he spends most of his time in it, weakly thanking everyone for their help. Once when he and Hazel have a few rare minutes alone, he points to a spot on the floor and asks what she sees. She is confused because there is nothing there, but it turns out he is making a pale joke: “It’s my last shred of dignity."

The following day, when Hazel arrives at Augustus’s house, she finds it full of his extended family: his two older sisters, their husbands, and his three rambunctious nephews. These little boys are constantly wrestling, running, and announcing to visitors that Augustus is going to die. Hazel takes this in stride, although she feels a twinge of jealousy when she witnesses how carelessly the little boys overwork their lungs.

In the living room, Hazel is annoyed by a scene she calls “the Attack of the Well-Meaning Sisters.” The two young women talk baby talk to Augustus in a way that makes Hazel cringe. Rather than engage him in conversation, they make meaningless comments about how good-looking he is. After a while, Augustus asks to go outside, and the family works together to put him in a wheelchair and push him onto the back porch.

Outside, nobody seems to know what to say. Augustus’s parents ask if he needs any medicine. One of the sisters says vaguely how beautiful his eyes are. The other says piously that she hopes her own children will grow up to be “thoughtful” and “intelligent” like Augustus.

Hazel, nauseated by the cheesiness of this last statement, jokes that Augustus is actually pretty stupid. At this, Augustus perks up and says that he is probably only considered smart because beautiful people like him are expected to be stupid. As he and Hazel banter back and forth, Augustus claims that his beauty blinded Isaac and robbed Hazel of breath so severely that she now has to live life attached to an oxygen tank.

At the end of this conversation, Augustus’s dad tells them to knock it off. He does not seem annoyed, however, because he puts his arm around Hazel and says, “I thank God for you every day, kid."

As the chapter ends, Hazel says that she remembers this as a good day with Augustus—but it was not the Last Good Day. 

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Chapter 18 Summary


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