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Archetypes In The Novel The Fault In Our Stars

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Archetypes frequently appear in literature, films, and even in our daily lives. Archetypes are recurrent situations, symbols, or characters that express certain things. In literature archetypes are used very often, as they help develop the story better. Writers use archetypes to shape structure into their characters and their literary work as a whole. In the novel, The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, many archetypes are used to express the characters as individuals, and help piece together the storyline.

In the book The Fault In Our Stars, Hazel Grace is the main character, along with Augustus Waters, also known as Gus. Hazel Grace meets Gus at a cancer support group. Hazel is suffering with Stage four Thyroid cancer, while Gus is in remission from Osteosarcoma Cancer, which resulted in his amputation of his leg. Hazel and Gus immediately connect and create a bond, and both read a book they gave each other. Throughout the novel the two of them spend a lot of time together, then eventually fall in love. After Agustus finishes the book Hazel gave him, he uses his Make A Wish Trip, to bring Hazel to Amsterdam to finally get her questions answered about the book, written by author Peter Van Houten. In the end of the novel many unexpected things happen, and leaves readers speechless. There are many archetypes in this story including a Mentor, A devil figure, star crossed lovers, and a supportive friend that bring together the story and ultimately makes the novel complete.

One of the archetypes used in The Fault In Our Stars, is a Mentor. The mentor in the story would be Patrcik, who is the leader of the cancer support group that Hazel and Gus attend. He is a mentor because he is there to support everyone who is in the group, and convinces everyone that everything will be okay in the end. Many other stories use the mentor archetype as well. Some examples of mentors would be in the Karate Kid, Mr, Miyagi is a mentor because he helps him throughout the way. In Girl Meets World, Cory, the teacher, is a mentor to all of his students, including Miyahs friends. Also, In The Lion King, Mufasa is a Mentor because he helps his son Simba learn to be strong and brave. This archetype exists because it helps characters grow by having someone to look up to. The purpose it holds in this story is to help provide support to the cancer patients in the group, and help lead Gus and Hazel down a more positive path.

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Another archetype used in The Fault In Our Stars, is a devil figure. The devil figure in this novel would be cancer. The way cancer affects everyone in the support group would be the devil figure because it does not have a good impact on everyone. Even though something negative was happening to them and their bodies, Hazel learned to take good things away from it and said “Without pain, how could we know joy?¨ (Green 45). This shows that even though something bad was happening she learned to take good things away from it. This archetype has been used in other movies and stories as well. For example in Vampire Diaries, Catherine Piece is a devil figure because her main motive in the series is to get revenge. Another example would be in Five Feet Apart, Stella has cystic fibrosis and the sickness is the devil figure for her. Lastly, in The Walking Dead, the zombies would be the devil figure since they are taking over the world. This archetype exists because not everything is perfect in stories. This archetype contributes to my novel because Gus and Hazel both are living with cancer and having to deal with changing the way they live due to it.

The archetype star-crossed lovers are used in this novel as well due to Hazel and Gus’ tragic love story. This is due to the terminal cancer that Gus was diagnosed with. Hazel and Gus fell in love very quickly. Hazel said, “As he read, I fell in love with the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”(Green 125). The star-crossed lovers archetype is used a lot in other stories including Romeo and Juliet, because they had a forbidden love story due to their families being enemies. Another example of star-crossed lovers would be in Titanic, because Jack and Rose love each other, but their love story was cut short to the tragic event of the ship. One last example is Beauty And The Beast because they are not supposed to be in love. This archetype exists because it shows even when two people love each other it does not always work out. This archetype contributes to my novel because Hazel and Gus love each other, but in the end Hazel is heartbroken.

One last archetype used in The Fault In Our Stars is a supportive friend. In this story the supportive friend is Issac. After Agustus’ fatality, Issac is supportive and is there for Hazel when she lost Gus. Issac is a mutual friend of Hazel and Gus, as he is in their support group. Issac always gives advice to the both of them. He once said, ‘Well, I believe in true love.¨(Green 96). This was Isaac giving advice to Gus that his love for Hazel must be true. The archetype of a supportive friend is used a lot in many other stories. One other example of supportive friends would be in Toy Story because all of the toys supported Andy when he went to college. Another example would be in Mean Girls because they all became supportive of each other in the end. A last example of a supportive friend would be in Hannah Montana because of how Lily supported Hannah and her movie star dream. This archetype exists in literature because characters need support, as we do in real life. This archetype contributes to The Fault In Our Stars because after Gus’ death Issac is there to be with Hazel so that she is not alone throughout what she goes through.

In conclusion, archetypes are used broadly in books, movies, and tv shows. The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, shows many examples of how archetypes are used in literature. Agustus and Hazel´s tragic love story has many bumps in the road, but there are supportive people who are there for them along the way. Archetypes are used in other stories as well, as they help put together the story in a more formatted way. In this novel there are many archetypes used that include a mentor, a devil figure, star crossed lovers, and a supportive friend that bring together the story and ultimately makes the novel complete.

Work Cited

  1. Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Dutton Books, 2018.

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