If I Stay

Punk Rock and Classical Music Symbol Analysis

Punk Rock and Classical Music Symbol Icon

Mia’s Mom and Dad met in their early twenties, when Dad was in a punk rock band. Unlike her parents, however, Mia’s love of the cello led her to classical music, her preferred genre. Classical music is what makes Mia feel unique, but it is also what makes her feel different, even within her own family. Her family is surprised by Mia’s affinity for the cello when she is young, but they soon come to realize that she has immense talent, and they support her music studies even if they can’t understand her choice of genre. Like Mom and Dad, Adam is also in a rock band, and Mia often feels out of place at his concerts and with his band mates, especially because she is quieter and more introverted than his loud, outgoing fans. For Halloween, Mia dresses up like Adam’s punk friends do—essentially crossing over from her world of classical music to the world of punk music—and feels more accepted by Adam’s community. However, Adam tells Mia that while he appreciates the effort, he likes her just the way she is. Mia ultimately comes to realize that it is a love for music, no matter the genre, that connects her to her family and to Adam.

Punk Rock and Classical Music Quotes in If I Stay

The If I Stay quotes below all refer to the symbol of Punk Rock and Classical Music. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Speak edition of If I Stay published in 2010.
7:09 AM Quotes

I know it’s silly but I have always wondered if Dad is disappointed that I didn’t become a rock chick. I’d meant to. Then, in third grade, I’d wandered over to the cello in music class—it looked almost human to me. It looked like if you played it, it would tell you secrets, so I started playing. It’s been almost ten years now and I haven’t stopped.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Denny Hall (Dad)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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8:17 AM Quotes

As usual, there is a battle for stereo dominance. Mom wants NPR. Dad wants Frank Sinatra. Teddy wants SpongeBob SquarePants. I want the classical-music station, but recognizing that I’m the only classical fan in the family, I am willing to compromise with Shooting Star.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Kat Hall (Mom), Denny Hall (Dad), Teddy Hall
Related Symbols: Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
9:23 AM Quotes

Sometimes I did feel like I came from a different tribe. I was not like my outgoing, ironic dad or my tough-chick mom. And as if to seal the deal, instead of learning to play electric guitar, I’d gone and chosen the cello.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

5:42 AM Quotes

So I played. And even though you wouldn’t think it, the cello didn’t sound half bad with all those guitars. In fact, it sounded pretty amazing.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde, Denny Hall (Dad)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

7:16 AM Quotes

Yo-Yo Ma continues to play, and it’s like the piano and cello are being poured into my body, the same way that the IV and blood transfusions are. And the memories of my life as it was, and the flashes of it as it might be, are coming so fast and furious. I feel like I can no longer keep up with them but they keep coming and everything is colliding, until I cannot take it anymore. Until I cannot be like this one second longer.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Punk Rock and Classical Music Symbol Timeline in If I Stay

The timeline below shows where the symbol Punk Rock and Classical Music appears in If I Stay. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
7:09 AM
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...recall that Mom, a former rocker-chick, took time to warm up to Mia’s love of classical music and Mia’s “marathon” practice sessions. Then a crash sounds—it’s Teddy playing on Dad’s old... (full context)
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...and Henry, married friends of the family who used to be musicians in the same punk-rock scene as Mom and Dad. Though Mia knows that Adam is busy with his touring... (full context)
9:23 AM
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...parents’ subsequent apologies. Mia notes that she often feels out of place as a dark-haired classical music lover in a family of fair-haired punk rockers, and has sometimes wondered whether she... (full context)
12:19 PM
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
...room, the doctors debate on what kind of music to play. Mia silently roots for classical, which they ultimately decide upon, though she is not too pleased with their selection of... (full context)
3:47 PM
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...Adam’s band’s shows, where he is the center of attention, surrounded by members of the punk scene. However, she loves to watch Adam play the guitar, even if she feels out... (full context)
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...not have developed to the extent that it did. Adam was able to bond over punk music with Mia’s Mom and Dad, and he even plays basketball with her Dad as... (full context)
4:47 PM
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
...to their children as “accidents” or “mistakes.” Both of her parents were involved in the punk-music scene, and married young. Mia was conceived the night of one of Mia’s parent’s friend’s... (full context)
5:40 PM
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
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... (full context)
7:13 PM
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...divided into two groups, such as people who like pop music and people who like classical music, or girls who have boyfriends in high school, and girls who don’t. As Mia... (full context)
10:40 PM
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
...Peter Hellman from camp, who died of lymphoma. A friend of the family from the punk music scene, Kerry Gifford, died of a freak brain aneurysm while operating the soundboard for... (full context)
2:48 AM
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
...as finally learning how to drive a car (rather than bicycling everywhere) and exchanging his punk-rock wardrobe with a vintage buttoned-up style from the 1950s. He goes back to school and... (full context)