The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

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Chapter 25 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 624

One morning, Kaitlyn calls and bemoans the fact that Hazel has such bad luck in life. This is not really what Hazel wants to hear, but she tries to answer Kaitlyn’s questions about what it was like to be in love.

During this conversation, Hazel mentions the mysterious letter Augustus was supposedly writing for her. Kaitlyn points out that Augustus may have written and mailed a letter to someone else. This comment gives Hazel a flash of insight: Augustus probably wrote to Van Houten. She thanks Kaitlyn and hangs up.

Not wanting to contact Van Houten directly, Hazel e-mails Lidewij. She explains that Augustus may have sent a letter to Van Houten just a few days before his death. She asks Lidewij to find the letter and pass it on if there is anything in it meant for Hazel.

Hours later, Hazel gets a reply from Lidewij, who says she is sorry to hear that Augustus has died. She promises that she will visit Van Houten first thing in the morning to find out about the letter. She mentions that she is bringing her boyfriend as a sort of bodyguard, just in case.

All day, Hazel wonders about Augustus’s letter. She thinks he may have used his terminal diagnosis to try to manipulate Van Houten into writing an epilogue to An Imperial Affliction. From Augustus’s perspective, this might have seemed like a way to give his death more meaning—a chance for his passing to benefit someone he loved.

Hazel also imagines what it would be like to be Lidewij today. It would be kind of fun to bike with one’s boyfriend through the streets of Amsterdam to help a dying teenage girl who wants to read her dead boyfriend’s last words. Hazel regrets that she will not live a life like Lidewij’s, full of adventures. “I missed the future,” Hazel says. She wishes she could grow old—but she also realizes her life has been twice as long as Van Houten’s daughter’s.

Hazel is in the midst of these reflections when her mother pops in and announces that it is Bastille Day, a French holiday. Hazel's mother has just planed a picnic with Hazel’s father in the park. Hazel smiles at this and agrees to go.

As Hazel and her family eat sandwiches at a park, Hazel enjoys the sun and watches kids. She tries to memorize her parents' faces and actions. It is important to her to notice everything while she has the chance.

After the picnic, back at home, Hazel receives a reply from Lidewij. It contains a scanned copy of the letter from Augustus to Van Houten. It is a rough draft of Augustus’s eulogy for Hazel. He sent it to Van Houten in hopes of getting some help with the writing.

Augustus’s eulogy explains that most people want to “leave a mark” on the world, and that most people succeed—by harming others. He explains that Hazel is not concerned about such things. She just wants to notice what happens around her without changing anything. He says that the few people who live like this are heroes, unlike him. He wanted to make a mark, and he did so by making Hazel fall in love with him. His death will leave a “scar.” But as he ends his letter, he says that he is glad to have loved Hazel:

You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.

As The Fault of Our Stars ends, Hazel answers Augustus’s final hope: “I do.” 

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Chapter 24 Summary