Identity in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars

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Self-Identity in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
People with cancer often begin to define themselves based on their experience with their illness, this self-definition through one’s cancer is one that the characters fear in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The novel shows how the characters strive to discover their identities, but despite that are still identified by their illness. The novel also makes the argument that young people with cancer are not any more virtuous or different than other kids rather, they are just normal kids living with an illness. Augustus wants to be remembered and also be more than just a boy who battled cancer, but despite his efforts is still identified by his illness.

The character Augustus strives to
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“You know… its kids’ stuff, but I always thought my obituary would be in all the newspapers, that I’d have a story worth telling. I always had this secret suspicion that I was special” (Green, 240). When Augustus and Hazel meet at his house after support group he shows her his medals and tells her the story of how he used to be a basketball player till the day he got diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer, a type of bone cancer that spreads from one limb in the skeleton to another, which is why he has an artificial leg. Augustus also tells her about his family and sisters then asks her
“’So what’s your story?’” she then then replies “’I already told you my story. I was diagnosed when-‘” He interrupts and says “’No, not your cancer story. Your story. Interests, hobbies, passions, etcetera… Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who becomes their disease. I know so many people like that. It’s disheartening. Like cancer is in the growth business, right? The taking-people-over business. But surely you haven’t let it succeed prematurely’” (Green, 32).
Augustus realizes that a lot of people let their cancer identify them, which it seems at first like Hazel does. Through the novel Augustus mentions multiple times how he wants his life to mean something other than cancer. “I fear that I won’t be able to give anything in exchange for my life. If you don’t live a life in service of a greater good, you’ve gotta