Book Report On John Green’s Novel The Fault In Our Stars And The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas By John Boyne
The Fault in Our Stars
The cover of the book is portrayed on the front page. The author of the book is John Green and his name is mentioned on the cover of the book. John Michael Green (Indianapolis, August 24, 1977) is an American writer and vlogger. Also, the title of the book is clearly visible; The Fault in Our Stars. The book is originally published on the 10th of January 2012. The genre of the book is roman.
The story is about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster. She is sixteen years old and has lung cancer. Hazel likes to read, especially the book An Imperial Affliction written by Peter van Houten. When Hazel visits support groups, she runs into Augustus waters, a seventeen year old boy who had osteosarcoma a year and a half ago. Hazel and Augustus start to like each other. They give each other their favourite book to read something else for once. Augustus seems to like An Imperial Affliction (AIA) as well but he thinks just like Hazel that the open end is disturbing. Augustus and Hazel try to find the author of the book who lives in Amsterdam. Augustus gets an e-mail that he and Hazel are welcome to visit Amsterdam for the answers.
Although Hazel’s conditions limit her from going on big trips, this trip was eventually approved. In Amsterdam they met Peter van Houten and he turns out to be a jerk. Hazel and Augustus don’t get their answers. On their way back Hazel finds out that Augustus is really sick again. Eventually Augustus dies, but he had sent a letter to peter van Houten to give to Hazel. In this letter he writes about Hazel and about how much he loves her, but also that he is very sick and about to die. When Hazel reads this letter, the book has come to an end.
- Hazel: Hazel is a 16-year-old girl who is the protagonist of the book. She is a conscientious girl. She was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of thirteen. She keeps people at a distance, because she does not want to hurt them. Eventually she falls in love with Augustus.
- Augustus: He is a long muscular boy who meets Hazel in the support group. He is very romantic towards Hazel and adores her despite her condition.
- Peter van Houten: He is the author of An Imperial Affliction. He is a drunk and very cruel towards Augustus and Hazel in the beginning.
Explanation of the title
The title of the book; ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, originates from a line from Shakespeare’s play in Julius Caesar where Cassius says, ‘The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.’ He seems to say that you are to blame for all the things happening in your life. John Green does not agree with this. The Fault in our Stars seems to argue that it is not our fault, but the fault of the universe. Some things can not be avoided by yourself. The title describes that Hazel and Augustus could not avoid their diseases. The beauty of the message is that despite their condition ( fault in their starts ) they can still live their lives. These illnesses are inevitable
The story takes place in the in the modern time. There is a use of modern smartphones and MRI scans ( advanced healthcare ). Hazel thinks a lot about the past and the future. Hazel is born on September 29, 1996. She is sixteen, that means the story takes place in 2012. John Green himself didn’t ever mention the time period, so you really have to search for the clues.
The story takes place in Indiana in the United States. I know that because of the line on page 81; ‘It was sunny, a rarity for Indiana in April’.’ The names of the places are mentioned. Hazel and Augustus also visit Amsterdam at one point. It never takes place in one place, they go to other places, although Hazel and Gus both have limitations. John probably did that on purpose, to show people you can still have an amazing life even if it’s short.
Point of view
The story is written in the first-person point of view, from the main character Hazel Grace. The book is written with the purpose of allowing the reader to see what’s happening inside of Hazel’s head, struggles and thoughts. It’s a good thing that the reader makes us questions ourselves, what does it feel like to be in that situation, did the situation give justice to the character.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
On the cover of the book you can see a significant event that results in a turning point of the story; when Bruno and Shmuel meet for the first time. The title of the book is dedicated to Shmuel, he is actually the boy in the striped pyjamas. This refers to the Jew. The author of the book is John Boyne (Dublin, April 30, 1971). He is an Irish writer and journalist. His most popular book is the roman: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, which became a bestseller. More than 6 million copies have been sold worldwide. The book is published in the year 2006.
The story takes place in Germany during the Second World War. The father of protagonist Bruno is a Nazi which moves from Berlin to a house nearby the Auschwitz concentration camp. Bruno can not get used to his new environment, because he has no friends to play with. He only has his sister Gretel, who is 12 years old, but his relationship with her is not that strong. A fence creates a boundary between the Jew and the family of Bruno ( the Nazi’s ). Through his bedroom window he can see people in what he describes as ‘striped pyjamas’. Bruno thought that he could make friends there, which results in him going on sight-seeing trips by himself. This is when he meets Shmuel, a Jew. Bruno has no clue what is happening and Shmuel talks about is missing father.
Bruno proposes to help search for his father, and that is when he crawls under the fence, with no consciousness about the dangerous situation. Bruno dresses up in a ‘striped pyjama’ which makes him even harder to find. They became best friends. When the Jews, including Bruno, were forced to enter the gas chamber he had no clue that he was walking straight into his death. His father’s business killed his own son too. Bruno’s father is taken away during the liberation of the concentration camp by the Russians.
- Bruno: A nine year old boy who loves to play with friends and go on sight-seeing trips. He is very curious about everything that is going on: his father’s job, the concentration camps and the striped pyjamas.
- Shmuel: The boy behind the fence. He is very malnourished which makes him appear tiny. Shmuel is very sad and is happy to finally have a friend like Bruno
- Bruno’s father: He works for the Fury ( Adolf Hitler ) which makes him a very strong Nazi. He is the highest ranking officer in the concentration camp who’s purpose is to exterminate the Jews in Auschwitz. Bruno’s father is very strict, because he does not want his children to find out about Auschwitz which is why he calls it: Out-With.
Explanation of the title
The title simply refers to Shmuel, he is a Jew in Auschwitz, the concentration camp across the fence. All the Jew get clothing that makes them easy recognisable as a Jew. These clothes are similar to a pyjama with blue and white stripes. Bruno also becomes a boy in a striped pyjama as soon as he climbs under the fence to be with Shmuel, his best friend. I think the title refers to both Bruno and Shmuel. When Bruno becomes a boy in a striped pyjamas he theoretically becomes a Jew as well and that is when I really started to realise the danger of this situation.
The story takes place during the Second World War. The events happening are symbolistic for the Second World War. Adolf Hitler and his hate for the Jews are factual events that relate to this period of time. The time of the story is the most important motive when writing this book. Our knowledge of the Second World war is very important to write a book representing that time. The author has to be as objective as possible when writing about the past, especially a big historical event such as World War Two.
Bruno and his family first live in Berlin. Later, when his father is promoted they move to Auschwitz. This is an important event in the book, because by moving away, Bruno has to make new friends in a very dangerous environment.
Point of view
The book is both written in a combination of 1st and 3rd person. It describes everything from Bruno’s point of view, but also allows the author to freely move in to other characters mindsets which all help to understand Bruno.
What is, according to you, the most important event in the book? How did it change the story/character(s)? if you were the author, would you have written it like this? If not, how would you have changed it and why?
The most important event according to me is the end when two best friends; Bruno and Shmuel, die together. When Bruno tells Shmuel that he is his best friend for life when they were actually about to die. This shows how deep and real their friendship was. When fear and terror were at its worst they still stick together as a team. Their friendship is unconditionally. Bruno and Shmuel do not care about race differences, their friendship cuts through social and religious distinctions. They are still young children and although Bruno notices he is a bit different than Shmuel they still became best friends for life.
Although the conditions during the Second World War were very severe, they found comfort in their friendship. Bruno and Shmuel are actually the worst enemies, a Jew and a Nazi. When they become friends it shows their loyalty to each other regardless of the fact that they are not allowed to even meet. The idea that Bruno dies with his best friend is a moment of horror and beauty. In my opinion is it hard to capture these two paradoxes together and therefore this book really touches the bottom of my heart. There are many important events in the book, but this event was the most important and significant to me.
The way the friendship is portrayed in the book changes everything. Bruno gets a new friend, and Shmuel finds comfort and gets some food from Bruno. The conditions for the two get better when they meet up every time. The story is more emotional when a strong friendship is involved. The realisation of losing someone will become more touching.
Therefore I would have written it in the same way. The story of Bruno and Shmuel represents the needs of children in hard times. Two best friends for life who die together, it’s a representation of the conditions in that time and a representation of the behaviour of the children who can love without racism.
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