I was all “wow capybara and guinea pigs this is gonna help make me feel better”
But I was not expecting that to start playing and I couldn’t stop laughing.
ok!!!! cool i have been seeing that argument EVERYWHERE and i mean it’s true but u gotta take it in context so i’m gonna try 2 explain
so the augustus waters that we’re presented with is essentially a combination of two very different people. there’s Augustus Waters, hot boy w/ one leg, full of metaphors and grand romantic gestures and the kind of quotes that teenage boys will use to ask their girlfriends to prom for years and years to come. and then there’s the real augustus - scared and sick and afraid of dying, but even more afraid of dying w/o having left a mark on the world. (i don’t remember exactly at which point he says that, i’m p sure it’s when they’re on the plane to amsterdam???? doesn’t rly matter though the point is he’s afraid of being forgotten)
almost everything augustus does is based around that desire to be remembered. it’s REALLY OBVIOUS that he likes to do Big Things and make Big Statements, but spontaneity would leave too much up to chance, so he meticulously plans and stages EVERYTHING. (almost everything. most things.) the cigarette scene??? staged. his giant speech to hazel on the plane?? staged. most of the scenes people like to point out as being unrealistic + extremely pretentious????? STAGED. it’s all a big facade. he’s scared and sad and vulnerable, but that’s not how he wants to go out. he wants to be bigger than that.
and then of course a bunch of plot stuff happens and gradually that facade begins to fade (his strength as a character grows as his health deteriorates, isn’t irony fun???) and you as the reader hopefully start to recognize the difference between gus and Augustus. like yeah sure he’s pretentious and irritating at times, but that’s kind of the point, and i think it’s rly interesting to watch his growth as a character progress alongside the main story arc
and then he dies and everything is sad but u know at least there was some good character development in there