Literature In John Green's The Fault In Our Stars And Paper Towns

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Two of John Green most famous novels, The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, share a common theme which is 'literature'. The theme of literature and writing, especially in the plot around meeting Peter Van Houten, lends an element of metafiction to the book. One of the poems specifically referenced in Paper Towns, which gives insight into Margo Roth Spiegelman and provides Quentin with plenty to think about, is "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman, which comes from Leaves of Grass. In The Fault In Our Stars, An Imperial Affliction, a fanciful book by the made-up character Peter Van Houten, is Hazel, and later, Augustus' most loved novel and has a key part in The Fault in Our Stars. Hazel and Augustus' relationship is shaped through sharing of…show more content…
In Paper Towns, some of these are obvious, while some are more nebulous, both to viewers and the characters. “So grass is a metaphor for life, and for death, and for equality, and for connectedness, and for children, and for God, and for hope.”[5] Here, by investigating the poem’s more profound meaning, Quentin finds deeper meaning in life itself, beyond simply hunting down Margo. In the other book, Augustus uses cigarettes as a metaphor; "They don't kill you unless you light them," he said as Mom arrived at the curb. "And I've never lit one. It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.”[6] Augustus almost always has a cigarette in his mouth throughout the novel, but he never lights them. He likes the idea of having control over something that has the potential of killing him, especially since he does not have the power to control his cancer. In conclusion, it is clear how John Green used literature and writing as a common theme for these two novels. Apart from literature, they also share the theme of ‘identity’ and ‘friendship’, literature being the prominent one. One difference which remains is that he uses an actual book, that is ‘Leaves of Grass’ for Paper Towns, whereas in The Fault In Our Stars, he creates his own imaginary book with its own fictional author, and even uses a quote from this imaginary book at the beginning of the novel as an

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