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Pessimistic or Optimistic?

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message 1: by Reese (last edited Jul 27, 2014 07:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reese So, this is the kind of book that makes you think about it a lot, so I have. And what I'm wondering is this; is this ultimately a pessimistically-themed story, or optimistically-themed? Or can it not really go in either?


message 2: by Dramapuppy (last edited Jul 28, 2014 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dramapuppy I saw it optimistic. The theme was that although some kids die, it is still possible to live a very full life full of love. "Love is measured in love, not length," or something like that.


Negin I think its both. In this book John Green was trying to share to his readers that even in the darkest times you can find happiness and it shows that even after all the hope Hazel and Augustus had, their story didn't end in a happy ending. But at the same time Green was trying to say that death is inevitable and after they were so happy the inevitable happened.


message 4: by Dramapuppy (last edited Jul 28, 2014 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dramapuppy I actually thought this book had a happy ending. (view spoiler)


Laura I think its more optimistic rather than pessimistic, because it shows new hope in Hazels life even after Augustus's death. she keeps strong and moves on. it actually says he gave her forever in the numbered days and my life is a roller coaster that only goes up! so things like that show optimism.


Reese Thanks, everyone, for taking part in this discussion. And after reading these, I'm thinking yes, it is more optimistic. It's more obvious in the movie, though, than in the book, I think.


message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann I go for Optmistic.


message 8: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva Pessimism is often confused with realism. This book was tremendously realistic in the sense that things do not always have a happy ending, people die unexpectedly and for no good reason at all. Lots of people think that is pessimism, but it truly is realism. However, I can certainly see the optimism. Despite their situations, Hazel and Augustus were generally pretty positive people.


Dramapuppy Eva wrote: "Pessimism is often confused with realism. This book was tremendously realistic in the sense that things do not always have a happy ending, people die unexpectedly and for no good reason at all. Lot..."

Agreed.


message 10: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz I think it's optimistic because it says that even though things end, they can still be beautiful.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Pessimistic.


Dramapuppy Brooke wrote: "Pessimistic."

Why do you say that?


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Pessimistic.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Anya wrote: "Pessimistic."
Thank you.


Reese Eva wrote: "Pessimism is often confused with realism. This book was tremendously realistic in the sense that things do not always have a happy ending, people die unexpectedly and for no good reason at all. Lot..."
Excellent point.


Madison Completely pessimistic. I enjoyed the book, but I found Hazel Grace to be a cynical and extremely rude character. Also, Augustus wasn't too much better. I found him to be overly cocky and overly confident, and he seemed to brag about having one leg. I I guess I can't blame them, they were dying of cancer, but it they took warming up to.


James I would go with optimistic.


message 18: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Dramapuppy wrote: "I actually thought this book had a happy ending. [spoilers removed]"

I wholeheartedly agree with you.


message 19: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler There wasn't a lot of character development, I believe. I think the main thing that changed was Hazel being able to have little bit of a brighter outlook on life. The book deals with a lot of realism, however, so it can be hard at times to see the optimism behind it.


Dramapuppy I don't understand why you think the book was pessimistic. You not liking the characters has nothing to do with the tone. It's a completely different matter. And just because there's death doesn't automatically make the book pessimistic. It gives an optimistic outlook on something generally depressing and that's pretty cool.


Dee25 Definitely optimistic!

Cherishing your part of eternity no matter how long that will be. Wow ... Talk about enjoying life.


Kayla I feel like it was a bit of both. She has a pessimistic view of life, and she shares it with us freely, but Augustus shone in her life and despite the circumstances, he insisted that he was on a rollercoaster that only went up. She eventually learned to love life. So I'd say both.


message 23: by Llyr (last edited Aug 02, 2014 11:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler I don't know what's with the dislike of the characters in the book. Part of the reason I liked the book so much is because of how realistic the characters are. My friend doesn't want to read it because it's a love story and, to make it worse, it's about cancer. She told me that if she had cancer, she'd probably sit at home and eat a sandwich. I told her that she pretty much described Hazel. And no, I don't think Hazel is pessimistic, she's just a realist.


Dramapuppy Kaylasong1 wrote: "I feel like it was a bit of both. She has a pessimistic view of life, and she shares it with us freely, but Augustus shone in her life and despite the circumstances, he insisted that he was on a ro..."

I think it started pessimistic but ended in optimism when Hazel overcame the bad parts of pessimism. So, definitely optimism.


message 25: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Pessimistic.


message 26: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Dramapuppy wrote: "I don't understand why you think the book was pessimistic. You not liking the characters has nothing to do with the tone. It's a completely different matter. And just because there's death doesn't ..."

It's not about not liking the characters, it was quite pessimistic as Hazel was a very cynical person, and loved to see the bad in every situation.


message 27: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Llyr wrote: "I don't know what's with the dislike of the characters in the book. Part of the reason I liked the book so much is because of how realistic the characters are. My friend doesn't want to read it bec..."

Hazel is definitely a pessimist. Just because she had cancer, it shouldn't give her the excuse to be an annoying bitch. She saw everything negatively, always looked for the bad in every situation, and was just 100% annoying.


message 28: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler She was a realist. If she was pessimistic she would be a lot more depressed and angry and probably wouldn't have become friends with Augustus. She was still able to enjoy parts of her life. And assuming she was pessimistic, by the end of the book Augustus helped her get over that.


message 29: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai I agree with Augustus changing her few on life, which he did, but to me she was a pessimist.
I don't think she was a realist- a realist would've accepted things for how they are, but she loves to see the bad in every situation.


Dramapuppy Well, Hazel is a lot like me. I know a lot of people see her as a bitch but that's not really important here. She started out really pessimistic because she thought her parents couldn't go on after she died. Hazel wanted a full life, too. But she met Augustus, got her full life :), and her parents told her everything was okay. That's optimism if I've ever seen it. Just because a character is pessimistic through a majority of the book doesn't make the book pessimistic.


message 31: by Nimotalai (last edited Aug 04, 2014 02:52PM) (new) - added it

Nimotalai Dramapuppy wrote: "Well, Hazel is a lot like me. I know a lot of people see her as a bitch but that's not really important here. She started out really pessimistic because she thought her parents couldn't go on after..."

Maybe not, but the fact that she was pessimistic did add this sort of negative aura for me.
I didn't read the book that long ago- around September 2013-but if someone asked me about the fault in our stars, I would think of Hazel's pessimism, which dragged the book down as a whole from me.
However, the reason I rated this book 2 stars instead of one, is that I did like how Augustus caused Hazel to have a more optimistic view on life, which is basically the only thing I like about the book.


message 32: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani I would not go so far as to call Hazel a pessimist. She has a very real outlook on life, but her situation is so unfortunate that it seems as if she is a pessimist. Remember that she is a teenager with cancer. Having a cheerful and sunny attitude must be pretty hard. Augustus definitely gives her a more positive attitude though.


message 33: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler Lani wrote: "I would not go so far as to call Hazel a pessimist. She has a very real outlook on life, but her situation is so unfortunate that it seems as if she is a pessimist. Remember that she is a teenager ..."

I completely agree. I also think that the author didn't want her to be overly sunny and happy to avoid making this story like every other cancer story. I usually hate sick-lit.


message 34: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Just because you have cancer, it doesn't give you the excuse to be a bitch.
Amd yes, that may sound harsh, but it's true.


message 35: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler Nimotalai wrote: "Just because you have cancer, it doesn't give you the excuse to be a bitch.
Amd yes, that may sound harsh, but it's true."


You seem to have a pessimistic attitude towards the character. A bit ironic if you ask me...


Dramapuppy Nimotalai wrote: "Just because you have cancer, it doesn't give you the excuse to be a bitch.
Amd yes, that may sound harsh, but it's true."


Well, do you have cancer? I don't but I think I might be a little bitchy if I did. That's not even the point though. Hazel becomes more optimistic by the end of the story.


message 37: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani *tension intensifies*


message 38: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Keep in mind that Hazel is a very witty and sarcastic character. This attitude can sometimes come off as pessimistic, but I think she is just trying to make the best she can out of horrible circumstances. John most definitely purposefully wrote her this way.


message 39: by Nimotalai (last edited Aug 06, 2014 12:28AM) (new) - added it

Nimotalai Dramapuppy wrote: "Nimotalai wrote: "Just because you have cancer, it doesn't give you the excuse to be a bitch.
Amd yes, that may sound harsh, but it's true."

Well, do you have cancer? I don't but I think I might b..."


Yes, she may become more optimistic at the end of the story, and I did state that it's the reason why I gave it two stars instead of one, as I liked the change in her.
No, I don't have cancer, but I would admire a person who didn't let them become their disease, which I'm sure Augustus said in the book somewhere.
She let herself become her disease, and became miserable, rude and arrogant, and I hated that about her character.
And the argument that 'you don't have cancer, you don't understand' is stupid.
I shouldn't have to have cancer to relate to the book. John green should used more powerful writing so I could feel the pain of having cancer,which he didn't do for me.


message 40: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Llyr wrote: "Nimotalai wrote: "Just because you have cancer, it doesn't give you the excuse to be a bitch.
Amd yes, that may sound harsh, but it's true."

You seem to have a pessimistic attitude towards the cha..."


Maybe I have a pessimistic attitude towards her character because her pessimism is rubbing off on me....


message 41: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler She isn't miserable, she's just annoyed that people are treating her differently because of her cancer, or she's presenting a different view for things people take for granted. A pessimistic person would be more sullen and depressed, which she isn't, as she stated several times in the beginning of the story. She's trying to live her life, and people are trying to make her her disease, she's doing the opposite.


message 42: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Llyr wrote: "She isn't miserable, she's just annoyed that people are treating her differently because of her cancer, or she's presenting a different view for things people take for granted. A pessimistic person..."

I don't agree, maybe she lived in a place where people treat people with cancer like invalids, but if she went to my school, people would treat her like an ordinary person, accept when it came to things such as school trips which she may not have been able to go to.
I think the oblivion is inevitable thing is just stupid, you can't go your whole life saying 'oblivion is inevitable', basically implying that you're are going to die anyway so why should I care about actually doing something with my life.


message 43: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler I don't remember any part of the story taking place at school. I do, however, remember the book taking place at her house and at the literal heart of Jesus, places where people are assuming how she feels.


message 44: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai Llyr wrote: "I don't remember any part of the story taking place at school. I do, however, remember the book taking place at her house and at the literal heart of Jesus, places where people are assuming how she..."

I never said it took part in a school.


message 45: by Nimotalai (new) - added it

Nimotalai I just used a school as an example of a community in my area, I did not say any of the book took place in a school. At all.


Dramapuppy Okay, Hazel's pessimism is partially caused by her cancer. The other half is just her personality. Some people, including me, are naturally pessimistic. So you don't have to have cancer to understand Hazel's pessimism. The cancer only justifies it.


message 47: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Before Augustus, Hazel does lean on the side of pessimistic. But, the true question is whether the book is optimistic or pessimistic. I would say that the book is optimistic because of the last page when Hazel says "I do," symbolizing marriage (hope and happiness). There are many other points supporting the the book's optimism, but I would say this dialogue is the most significant.


Dramapuppy Lani wrote: "Before Augustus, Hazel does lean on the side of pessimistic. But, the true question is whether the book is optimistic or pessimistic. I would say that the book is optimistic because of the last pag..."

Exactly.


message 49: by Lani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lani Also, although Hazel does not say "I do" in the movie, she does wear a white dress in the last scene when she's reading the letter from Augustus. I thought this was a very nice touch by the costume department because, as everyone knows, traditional brides wear white.


message 50: by Llyr (new) - rated it 5 stars

Llyr Biehler Nimotalai, you claimed that she'd probably treated normally at school. My point was that even if she was, we don't get to hear her thoughts during those types of situations.


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