Q: Augustus seems to always have a cigarette in his mouth. Was he doing it to prove that he could or remind himself that, even though he’s dying, he once beat cancer?
I think he wanted that feeling back, that feeling he got when he put the cigarette in his mouth and didn’t light it. (He tends to do that when he’s looking for confidence—like when he’s trying to keep talking to Hazel that first night even after she has rejected him, or when they’ve boarded his plane and he’s about to fly for the first time, etc.)
And the frustration of not being able to feel that one more time is just infuriating and humiliating and completely defeating.