Before I Fall

by

Lauren Oliver

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Before I Fall: Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s often said that before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes—but Sam, in her final moments, sees only her greatest hits: the things she wants to remember and be remembered for. She recalls spending time with Izzy on Cape Cod; cooking with Ally and Elody; embracing Lindsay; enjoying Christmas with her family; and lastly, she remembers kissing Kent. That, Sam says, was the moment she realized time didn’t matter—that certain moments go on forever, and that those moments are “the meaning.”
In the end, Sam doesn’t remember the way her own actions figured in her life’s greatest hits—it is the people she loves, and their kindness toward her, which stands out. Sam has understood at last that time, fickle and fragile as it is, has the power to unite friends and loved ones even as it often tears them apart.
Themes
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
Sam says she isn’t scared to die. The moment of death is full of sound, warmth, and light—she feels like singing and laughing. She doesn’t want to spoil it for her readers, though—the rest, she says, they’ll have to find out for themselves.
Sam has the same invincible feeling she had at the start of the novel, but now it does not come from a false sense of popularity and self-aggrandizement; it comes from the knowledge that she ended her life on her own terms, doing as much good as she could in the time she had, and surrounded by love and light.
Themes
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon