Me Before You

Me Before You Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Now in Camilla’s perspective, Camilla confesses that she never wanted to help her son kill himself. She has had an ordinary life, even if her career as a magistrate means that she has seen the bleaker side of human life more often than not. Yet Camilla still believes in bringing order from the chaos. She retreats to her garden, finding comfort in the Latin names for plants.
Camilla’s purpose in life seems to be finding order from chaos, but she is stuck in a situation that has no order. There is no acceptable reason in Camilla’s eyes why her son should want to take his own life.
Themes
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Camilla enjoys her garden because it reminds her of the circle of life. It is there for her in good times and bad, always growing. Yet after Will’s accident, Camilla didn’t touch her garden for a year. It was only once they brought Will back to the annex that she started to work at it again, needing to show Will that there was still potential for life somewhere.
Camilla’s care of the garden went through a period of dormancy, but the plants themselves continue to grow again after each winter. Camilla seems to hope that Will will do the same, growing stronger after this setback.
Themes
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Back in the present day, Camilla and Steven sit together in front of a fire in the living room. Georgina has retreated to her room, and Steven blames her bad mood on jet-lag. Steven then optimistically brings up Will’s haircut, but Camilla tells him not to get his hopes up, because she knows her son. Steven is upset at Camilla’s resignation, but Camilla can’t help but resent Steven for judging her now when he has never put in the effort that she did for their kids.
Camilla and Steven no longer trust each other, and their family is dysfunctional enough not to connect on any of these important issues. Steven also wants to take Will’s haircut as a sign that he is embracing life, but Camilla more cautiously sees it as nothing more than a brief change of appearance.
Themes
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Camilla remembers when Will first told her how he wanted to end his life. She pretended not to understand and walked out, but Will persisted with all the negotiating power he once used in his business endeavors. Camilla still sees Will as her child, unable to let him go no matter what he wants. But in January, Will gruesomely tried to take his own life by slashing his wrists, and Camilla gave in. She raged in her garden that her son will not grow old, but she, unlike Steven, knew that Will would simply try again until he got what he wants. Two weeks later, she told Will that they will take him to Dignitas.
The ambition that Will once felt in his job is now focused completely on his new goal of ending his life in a way of his choosing. Will wants to take back control of his life in the only way he knows how. Camilla, meanwhile, loves Will enough that she is willing to sacrifice her own pain in order to give Will what he wants.
Themes
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Get the entire Me Before You LitChart as a printable PDF.
Me before you.pdf.medium