As a New York Times Bestseller, The Fault In Our Stars, has been through a lot of critics and reviewing. Many consider this book a masterpiece of the modern era and although it may consists of two dying teenagers, the book strongly portrays what it means to feel alive and love someone. They say there is a special meaning behind each name given to us at birth and that they define us as a person, but what do the names of Gus, Hazel, and Isaac mean and do they really fit their individual personalities?
Augustus “Gus” Waters(Ansel Elgort in film) is a teenage boy who lost his left leg fighting cancer, more specifically osteosarcoma. He is described as being tall, very handsome, intelligent, having blue eyes and mahogany hair. His name Augustus means “great” or “venerable”. It was the name of Octavian, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, and the name of three Polish kings. The name definitely suit Gus.
The character himself portrays what it is like to suffer from cancer and still manage to live a happy life, always seeing the positive side of things. Hazel Grace Lancaster(Shailene Woodley in film) is a teenage girl who has suffered from cancer her entire life. She is diagnosed with Stage IV Thyroid cancer with metastasis forming in her lungs, but has managed to live with her disease owing to doses of an experimental drug called Phalanxifor (which does not exist outside of the book). The name Hazel derived from Hebrew mean “God sees” , it can also mean “the Hazelnut tree”.
Now although the name signifies something in relation to God, it certainly does not fit the character Hazel in this case, who spends 90% of her time thinking about death and its side effects. Though she does make a lot of people happy with her presence, she herself cannot find a single ray of good light in her life. Isaac, Guss’ best friend, is one of the supporting characters in the book. He lost one eye to his cancer when he was younger, so he had a glass eye in place of the missing one until his remaining eye was surgically removed, leaving him NEC (No Evidence of Cancer) but blind.
The meaning behind his hebrew name is “he laughs” or “laughter”. I do believe this name fits the character. Although losing his eyesight was a strong hit on him, Isaac still manages to find the good and funny side of things. He becomes the type of person you can count on to cheer up your day. He enjoys having fun and laughing all the time as shown in the book and film.
It’s strange at times how authors choose name for the characters in their books. Some name may fit the characters personality while others definitely do not, yet they’re used anyway. The names of Gus, Hazel, and Isaac all seem to be related with power in some way and are great names for such teens who fight the unyielding battle against cancer.