I’m afraid I’ll never finish college. I’m afraid I’ll finish college with student loans I can never pay back. I’m afraid I’ll get a degree and won’t be able to find a job in that field. I’m afraid I’ll get a degree, get the job I dreamed of, and hate it.
So this little cigarette right here has sparked a whole new brand of TFiOS hate, much of which is coming from people who claimed to love the book.
Many people are now pointing out how “pretentious” Augustus is, and I can’t help but think, You’re only just now realizing this. He was written to be a seemingly pretentious and arrogant person. The acknowledgement of this is actually highly important because, without it, the book loses the message that a hero’s journey is that of strength to weakness.
Augustus Waters has big dreams for himself. He wants to be known and remembered; he wants to be a hero; he wants to be seen as perfect. But there’s already something standing in his way… He has a disability, and society tells him that a person cannot be both perfect and disabled. So what does he do? He creates a persona for himself. He tries to appear older and wiser than he is. But the pretentious side of him is NOT who he truly is. It’s all an act. (This is evident in the fact that he often uses words in the wrong context.)
And when his cancer returns, we begin to see his mask cracking. The true Augustus begins to bleed through… Hazel even takes notice of this from time to time. And by the time we get to the gas station scene, Augustus is no longer the picture of perfection he was when we met him. The play has been canceled. The actor must reveal himself. And he’s revealed to be a weak, defenseless boy, succumbing to the cancer that is made of him.
THE PRETENTIOUSNESS IS INTENTIONAL. It stands to show Augustus’s journey from flawless to flawed, from strong to weak. It’s the key to understanding that Augustus was the hero he always wanted to be, even if he didn’t realized it.
People need to accept that not all “cliches” are bad. People still like stuff like forbidden love stories, underdogs winning, and the dog biting back. The term cliche is negative, produces an image of all that is trite and boring, but actual cliches can be very good. Storytelling is built on cliches after all.
It’s not the cliche but how it is utilized by the author.
As someone who wants to study the human consciousness I found this very interesting.
Scott Routley was a “vegetable”. A car accident seriously injured both sides of his brain, and for 12 years, he was completely unresponsive.
Unable to speak or track people with his eyes, it seemed that Routley was unaware of his surroundings, and doctors assumed he was lost in limbo. They were wrong.
In 2012, Professor Adrian Owen decided to run tests on comatose patients like Scott Routley. Curious if some “vegetables” were actually conscious, Owen put Routley in an fMRI and told him to imagine walking through his home. Suddenly, the brain scan showed activity. Routley not only heard Owen, he was responding.
Next, the two worked out a code. Owen asked a series of “yes or no” questions, and if the answer was “yes,” Routley thought about walking around his house. If the answer was “no,” Routley thought about playing tennis.
These different actions showed activity different parts of the brain. Owen started off with easy questions like, “Is the sky blue?” However, they changed medical science when Owen asked, “Are you in pain?” and Routley answered, “No.” It was the first time a comatose patient with serious brain damage had let doctors know about his condition.
While Scott Routley is still trapped in his body, he finally has a way to reach out to the people around him. This finding has huge implications.