The Fault in Our Stars: Grenades

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, I was struck by the idea that people are grenades. Hazel believes she is a grenade because she is dying of cancer. However, as John Green said in answer to a FAQ about TFiOS, we are all grenades:

 "The central thing that Hazel has to realize at the end of the book is that she has been wrong all along about how she imagines her relationships with people she loves. She wasn't wrong about being a grenade (although we’re all grenades)."

"Although we're all grenades". That part struck me and I can't stop thinking about it. Every person you get close to and love,  you are becoming a grenade for them. Being a grenade for someone means that when you die, when the time comes for your grenade to implode, you will hurt them. 

It got me thinking who I am a grenade for, who is a grenade for me, and why everyone in the world is a grenade. Unlike Hazel, I am probably too selfish to cut myself off from the ones I love and want to continue a friendship with. I suppose we all just have to accept the fact that we are grenades.

It amazes me how deep John Green's thoughts are (and yes, I have to call him "John Green" every time. I can't call him Green or something, I feel a strange need to bask in the amazingness of John Green, and therefore, I must say his entire name each time. He is basically a god. Like the Greek God of amazing books or something....but I digress). It surprises me, honestly, that any person can just ponder such things about the world in such a way. His intelligence and depth of knowledge astounds me. 
So grenades. Grenades are always thought of as negative, right? Hazel definitely thinks they are negative in TFiOS, but I have begun to think that there could be a positive aspect of grenadism (Not a word, but I see no reason why it can't be). Grenadism, to me, means that you affected someones life in the long run. That when you die, that person will be sad for your loss. I think that is great, because it means you are wanted, needed, loved. 

"Only now that I loved a grenade did I understand the foolishness of trying to save others from my own impending fragmentation." I agree with Hazel, that there is no reason to try to alienate yourself, everyone is a grenade, and death is a part of life. I love the words "Impending fragmentation", because death is impending, we all know it will happen, why not enjoy life while you can?

Not that I hope for those I love to be sad when I die, I think it's nice for people to know that they will be missed, and that they had a positive impact on someone's life.


  1. HAHA feel all the things. That's great.

    But really, you make some wonderful points here. John Green is simply a genius.

  2. Hey there! I read TFiOS yesterday, and was also moved by the grenade analogy. I discovered your post whilst I was writing about it myself, so I added a link to this post at the end of mine. I hope you don't mind. :D

    DFTBA! Joey xx

  3. That's absolutely fine, thank you! I'm glad you liked the book, it's one of my very favourites. DFTBA :)


Thank you for commenting!