Me Before You

Me Before You Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A huge snowstorm hits and Lou arrives at Will’s house only to find that Nathan has been unable to get there. Steven asks Lou to check in on Will, who is still in bed asleep. Lou leaves him sleeping and begins to clean the annex, reveling in the calm of cleaning the house while the snow falls outside. Finally, Lou gets anxious and wakes Will. She helps him change position and notices that his skin is hot. Will just asks for some painkillers and thanks Lou, something he never does.
Lou finally understands a little of what her mother finds so satisfying in cleaning, and a little of why her mother is able to dedicate her life to taking care of others. Will’s polite thanks is a big sign that he is not well today, as Will normally chooses sarcasm and banter when he is with Lou.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
The snow continues and Lou continues to worry about Will’s labored sleep until Nathan appears at the door. Nathan is aghast at Will’s state, admonishing Lou for not reading the folder of how to care for Will when he is sick. After an hour of fever medications, Nathan finally has Will back to a safe temperature. He tells Lou to repeat the process at 5 pm, but to let Will sleep until then.
Lou still has not learned how to take care of Will physically, even though she is now better at caring for Will’s mental and emotional needs. Luckily, Nathan can care for Will’s physical side, but Will’s present state underscores how little control he has over his own life.
Themes
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Fitness Theme Icon
Nathan leaves and Lou grabs a book from Will’s bookshelf so she can read at Will’s bedside. She relishes the rare moment of silence. Shortly before 5, Lou’s phone buzzes with a message from Camilla asking if Lou can stay the night, as Nathan can’t come back due to the snow. She agrees immediately and sends a quick text to her parents and Patrick. Patrick has decided to go cross-country snow running to take advantage of the weather. Lou settles back into her book of short stories, enjoying her foray back into reading after feeling as though Treena had taken over the academic world.
Lou is willing to put her life on hold at a moment’s notice, staying over at Will’s house with no warning. Patrick runs in the snow despite the potential for injury or getting sick, putting the pursuit of physical perfection above his actually physical health. Meanwhile, Lou confesses yet another sacrifice she has made for her sister, giving up reading even though she used to like it. It is time that Lou does something for herself.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Fitness Theme Icon
Will finally wakes up at 8:15, looking much better and sounding more lucid. Lou takes advantage of this rare, vulnerable Will to ask him what caused his paralysis. Will responds that it was a motorbike accident in which he was the pedestrian, and Lou is surprised it wasn’t something more adventurous. Will goes on to explain how his whole life in London became impossible due to his disability. He asks Lou to tell him something good. Lou sings him a ridiculous song called the Molahonkey Song that Lou’s dad used to sing when she had a nightmare.
Will’s ambitious life was cut short by a completely random, ordinary accident, even though his thrilling, high-stakes lifestyle would seem like the likelier cause. Will describes this accident as ironic, using black humor to deal with his pain. Lou matches Will’s strange sense of humor, and even manages to cheer him up a little – something no one else has been able to do.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Get the entire Me Before You LitChart as a printable PDF.
Me before you.pdf.medium
Will laughs at Lou’s singing, then asks her to tell him something else. Lou tells Will about a pair of black and yellow bumblebee striped tights that she loved dearly when she was three, but could never find again once she outgrew them. Will laughs again and Lou asks if he ever loved anything that much. Will sadly answers yes. Finally, Will falls back to sleep and Lou falls asleep at the foot of his bed after tending to his fever once more.
Lou’s bumblebee tights are a symbol of making choices for herself. Now that Lou can no longer wear her tights, she no longer makes choices based on what she wants. Will, too, used to be able to do anything that he wanted, but the accident made that impossible. Both Will and Lou have to learn to be confident expressing themselves and making their own choices once more.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Camilla wakes Lou the next morning, annoyed that Lou stayed in Will’s room instead of the spare room. She is further disturbed to find out that Will was sick and no one informed her. Lou stammers that Nathan told her not to bother Mrs. Traynor at court, but is saved by Steven’s appearance. Steven is wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday and seems surprised when Camilla asks him if he knew about Will’s state during the night. He mutters something about the intercom being broken, and Camilla just tells Lou to contact her directly if this ever happens again.
Steven was out all night with his mistress, something that all the members of the Traynor family know, but refuse to admit out loud. The lack of honesty causes distance in the Traynor family, though they do love each other. Lou, though she has known Will for much less time, is already much closer to Will than his family is—another example of how more money doesn’t always mean more happiness.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon