If I Stay

If I Stay 7:16 AM Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s finally morning, and doctors are evaluating Mia’s body. Mia is tired, and hopes it will all be over soon. Kim has left, and the parade of people visiting her has ended. Mia feels ready to give into death, but wants to wait to see Adam one last time.
The relationship between Mia and her body appears to go two ways: her mental anguish can cause her body to become ill, and physical weakness can make her out-of-body self feel emotionally drained.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Adam soon comes and collapses into a chair next to Mia’s bed. He has clearly been crying, which Mia has only seen him do in moments of extreme sorrow. He asks her to stay, telling her that he loves her and is prepared to stay by her side as she copes with the loss of her parents, even if that means he must move to New York. However, he also says that if she no longer wants to be with him when she moves to New York, he will respect her wishes and let her go.
In this speech, Adam states that he is willing to give up Shooting Star in order to move to New York with Mia. For both Mia and Adam, their love of music always came before their love of each other—until this moment. Adam is willing to give up everything he’s worked towards if it means he can have Mia by his side. This echoes Dad’s decision of years ago, to give up his band to take care of his family.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Adam puts headphones around Mia’s ears, and plays Yo-Yo Ma’s Andante con moto e poco rubato. Mia is hit with a rush of memories from her life, both from the past and in the future, such as holding Teddy in her lap, and visiting three graves on a hill, next to a river. As the music continues to play in her ears, she feels like she can no longer keep up with the memories, until there is a blinding flash and an instant of pain. It is then that she understands how “agonizing” it will be for her to remain alive. Suddenly Mia is reunited with her body, as she can feel Adam holding her hand, and she knows she is in the hospital bed.
Though Mia feels “agony” when her mind reunites with her body, it is still a tolerable kind of pain, one that has an end. This seems to represent the grieving process Mia will have to go through in order to cope with the loss of her parents and Teddy. Though it will be difficult at first, she has the resources and support system to get through it, as well as the knowledge that the pain will, eventually, get better. Like everything else in Mia’s life, the music (and Adam by her side) is what will hold her together until she is strong.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Mia concentrates on the feeling of Adam’s hand in hers. She summons all the love she knows she will receive even as she must cope with the pain of moving forward in her life. She pictures Teddy, Mom and Dad, and her cello, and squeezes Adam’s hand. Adam’s grip on her hand tightens, and he gasps—the first time that day that Mia feels like she has truly heard him. “Mia?” he asks.
Mia ultimately decides to stay alive. The power of the music and Adam’s love for her give her the strength to begin a new life without her parents. She will keep her parents and Teddy alive through not only her grief but also her memories and her future music, and it seems that she will have no difficulty finding a new kind of family in her remaining loved ones.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
Get the entire If I Stay LitChart as a printable PDF.
If i stay.pdf.medium