A Two Grenade Love Story...

Connections of pgs. 181-252

In chapter 12, Hazel and Augustus finally get to meet Peter Van Houten. When Van Houten finally gets around to letting them in, he asks Augustus,

"Did you close the deal with that chick yet?"
I want to point out that I think Van Houten, though only a piece of it exists and it is tiny, has a heart. Somewhere inside him he cares, but also he's kind of mad, therefore I don't always think he knows what he is saying, or can filter his thoughts from his speech. When they're finally in Van Houten's house and trying to get a word in between his genius but rude word vomit, they both say "Um." when he asks what they're questions are. We all know what they want to say, but they're in such shock from the amass of his callous behavior.

Later we find out that Augustus's cancer is indeed back, when Hazel hears Van Houten say this, she doesn't give it a second thought, because she automatically assumes he's referring to win Augustus had cancer, in past tense, not present. However, I find myself wondering if Augustus even told Van Houten, but not Hazel (yet) that his cancer had returned. Hazel's fixation on finding out what happens to Anna's mother after she dies (most likely), I believe, is based on the fact she's so worried about her parents. Perhaps it will comfort her, knowing that there is a life after a mother's child dies, that happiness is still a possibility, almost as if it proves that her mother will be okay, when it is Hazel's time to "leave". 

 Hazel's depression not only stems from the fact that she's dying, but from the fact that she's going to hurt people, (mostly her parents) and so she thought of her cancer in ugly ways.  Hazel's not being selfish and feeling sorry for herself, she hates herself for being the reason for someone's heart to shatter. So he can't hurt her much more, she is not there to complete her last dying wish, well she is, but she's there hoping to find a piece for peace for herself, knowing there's some peace potential for her mother. When Van Houten denies Hazel answers and her and Augustus leave, she cries. And cries harder when Augustus tells her he'll write her an even better epilogue. I think she cries because she sees even more how much Augustus loves her.He speaks to her the way an adult might speak to a toddler with an "owie". But, I think one of the purest forms of love stems from adoration. When one becomes a child in their lovers arms. Hazel is so strong, and though it be only for a second, she lets Augustus handle it, and lets her walls tumble down and her world crash.

Augustus and Hazel so hurt, literally and metaphorically, give Anne Frank a gift, it's a beautiful tribute to her. The young woman who still loved even though the world and life had become something that hated her. And people clap, because it's beautiful, it makes sense. No one thought of it,  most likely because the house had such dark events in it remain. Yet in all of the darkness, Hazel and Augustus manage to show one of the few lights, of Anne Frank's life: Young Love. Young love in which hope is still alive, and teenagers have not given up.

When Hazel finds out that Augustus' cancer has returned she panics. Although it put both of them in the same boat, we can all understand what Hazel is feeling. Think of the person you love, lets say something terrible happens to you, but later something terrible happens to them and they suffer from that. You're love is so great, that it becomes okay for you to suffer but unacceptable for them to. Even more so, because it almost hurts more to watch them suffer. 

Augustus has a theme of helping Isaac, insisting that "Pain demands to be felt." As well as other emotions, rather than get revenge for Isaac, to show he has his back, he helps him get his own. He lets him ruin his things. Like the egging of Monica's car. He lets him do it, because he knows how it will make him feel. Augustus has a way of seeing into other people and being intuitive about what's best for them. He enjoys watching Isaac more than even partaking, because he knows that with every egg he throws, he feels a little better.

Finally in Chapter 18, our illusion of a surviving, optimistic Augustus breaks. He knows his time is coming. Being strong is exhausting, and he finally breaks. All the way, and just like Hazel in Amsterdam, he becomes a child in his lovers embrace. Why is it, that at certain parts in our life, everyone, that when we are too old to be treated like a child, we are treated as such in our lover's arms most commonly? And in fact, crave it too in moments like these, though we may never admit it?


Scott Dietzler said...

It's really hard to connect to the things they've been going through. But I don't think you need to be in a relationship with someone who has cancer when you yourself also have cancer to learn that if you love someone, truly love them, then that's reason enough to show it!

Audrey Lu said...

I agree with Scott, it's hard to put yourself in the shoes of cancer victims, but I also think it's easier to put yourself in their shoes as people who dearly love someone, someone who is hurt and you're scared for them. You want to show someone you care about them, so you give them a hug or kiss in support. Family, friends, significant others-- it's a universal gesture, and I really like the simplicity of it.

Kathy Z said...

As for being treated like a child by our lover, it is most certainly a sign of affection - that when the rest of the world is crap and when being an adult is just too overwhelming, you can feel safe with that one person.

I agree with all that Audrey and Scott said. :)

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