If I Stay

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If I Stay 5:40 PM Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After visiting Mia in the ICU, Gran and Gramps discuss whether it is true that Mia will be the one to decide whether she lives or dies. Gramps worries that Mia will want to join her parents in death, a notion that Gran hurriedly dismisses. It is this conversation that makes Mia realize that she is the only one who can decide whether she stays alive and joins Adam, Kim, and her grandparents, or whether she passes on to death to join her immediate family. This realization terrifies Mia “more than anything else that has happened today.”
Though Mia is able to move about of her own accord, unseen and undetected, in the wake of the accident, everything that has happened has been largely out of her control. She is “terrified” by the idea of making such a permanent decision, especially since she has no one to converse with about the pros and cons of living or dying.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Life and Death  Theme Icon
In a flashback, Mia remembers Adam showing her a Mozart Halloween costume he spent $100 putting together. At the mention of Halloween, Teddy runs out to show the couple his red-pajama devil costume, which Mia and Adam assure him is terrifying. Mia notes that she hasn’t put much thought into Halloween yet, and Adam reminds her that he has a Shooting Star show that night. Mia grows uncomfortable at the thought of attending another one of Adam’s shows, where she feels out of place in the punk scene. When Adam leaves Mia’s house, Mia is left wondering yet again why Adam is interested in her of all people, since they come from such different social scenes.
Mia is touched by the fact that Adam decides to dress as one her favorite classical musicians for Halloween, and feels guilty that she still has not figured out how to feel comfortable at his punk rock concerts. Still insecure in their relationship, Mia sees her inability to embrace punk-rock as wholeheartedly as Adam has embraced classical music as a shortcoming on her part.
Themes
Music and Harmony  Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Mia decides to follow Mom’s advice of “Fake it til’ you make it,” and dress up as a rocker chick for Shooting Star’s Halloween show. Mom takes Mia shopping and digs out her clothes from when she was Mia’s age to create a punk ensemble. When Mia dons a blond wig, she notes that for the first time, she feels like she looks like the rest of her immediate family. At the concert, Mia blends right in, and is able to let go of her insecurities enough to enjoy herself among Adam’s friends and fans.
Mia finally is able to step into the world of Adam’s music scene through the comforting detachment of a Halloween costume—just as Adam did in dressing up like Mozart. Looking the part helps to give Mia confidence, and she enjoys herself at one of Adam’s concerts for the first time since they began dating.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony  Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
After the show, Mia asks Adam if he prefers her punk-rock persona to her quiet classical music personality. Adam replies that while he appreciates her attempting to fit in with his friends, he likes her the way she is, saying that she is “one of the punkest girls” he knows, no matter what she wears. Mia looks back on this moment whenever she doubts Adam’s feelings towards her, and feels lucky, not insecure.
While Adam appreciates Mia’s efforts to fit in with his friends, he loves her for who she is, not for who she could be with more of a rocker sensibility. This marks a turning point in their relationship. Mia no longer feels like she is lacking something compared to Adam’s punk-rock friends.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony  Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
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