Me Before You

Me Before You Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lou doesn’t sleep the night after she finds out Will’s plan. She is angry at Camilla for being so cold, now understanding that Camilla’s distance from her son is more than an upper-class habit. She is angry at Will as well, but mostly horrified that Will might just be gone someday soon. She keeps this secret from her family, refusing dinner and sitting with Granddad so she won’t have to talk.
The Traynor family shows love and affection very differently than the Clark family, something that Lou blames on the Traynors’ money and social status. This money is a curse in Lou’s eyes rather than a blessing. Lou also sees Granddad’s inability to talk as a comfort rather than a disability.
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Yet the next day, Will is in amazingly high spirits. He asks Lou to finish his haircut, but Lou can’t maintain a conversation, her head too full of wondering how exactly Will will manage to kill himself without the use of his limbs. Will finally apologizes for Georgina’s blunt interruption, but Lou says she appreciated her honesty. Finally, Lou decides to leave a letter of resignation for Camilla. As Lou leaves for the day, she hears Will laughing as he watches football (soccer) with his father, and she does not say goodbye.
Will is much more at peace with his decision than anyone else is, perhaps because it gives him the control over his life that he craves. Lou doesn’t understand how Will could have agency over even this last choice—yet Lou also expresses her love for Will very differently than Will’s family does. While Steven can watch soccer with Will and pretend everything is fine, Lou would rather have everything in the open than continue to politely skirt around an issue this big.
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On the bus home, Lou considers what she will tell her family about leaving her job. She regrets that her family will think this is a selfish choice even though Treena was the one who selfishly added financial strain to the family by choosing to raise Thomas. Still, Lou is adamant that she cannot tell her family the truth about Will.
Lou still has trouble with the idea of sacrificing her own happiness for her family, but she is starting to realize that she has to make some choices for herself. Lou also protects Will by keeping his choice private. If the media were to find out about Will’s plan, he and his (relatively well-known) family would be scrutinized in the “right to die” debate.
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When Lou gets home, the neighbors are having another loud, public fight about the husband’s infidelity on their front lawn. The whole neighborhood watches, but Lou is distracted when Camilla Traynor pulls up in a private car. Camilla seems embarrassed by the whole thing, but Lou shrugs this fight off as “marriage counseling.” Camilla gets to her point, asking why Lou wants to leave. Lou is horrified that Camilla wants her to remain on suicide watch, but Camilla assures her that she thinks that Will is going to change his mind. Lou walks into her house, leaving Camilla on the lawn.
The loud argument in Lou’s neighborhood contrasts with the Traynors’ large and silent home and policy of silence about all their problems. This is another place where the Traynors’ money and place in polite society actually limits their choices rather than allowing them to be more free. Lou seems to already understand that Will has to make his own choices, yet also recognizes that she is becoming attached to Will and it will hurt her too much if he ends up actually dying.
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Get the entire Me Before You LitChart as a printable PDF.
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When Lou walks in, Treena confronts her about selfishly leaving her job when the family needs money so badly. Lou accuses her sister of only caring about her own university dreams and slams the door to her tiny room. Lou starts to cry on her bed, thinking of Will, and Treena comes in to apologize. Cracking under the pressure, Lou tells Treena the real reason she had to quit.
Lou feels as though Treena has always made decisions based on her own happiness, rather than taking the family into account like Lou does. Yet Treena sees this as living up to her ambitions and doesn’t understand why Lou seems to be sabotaging her own career aspirations at every turn.
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Lou lists all the reasons she is jealous of her sister, from looks to brains, but realizes that she will always love Treena for her calm acceptance of Will’s end of life plan. Treena tells Lou to finally put the Traynors’ money to good use and take these last months before Will’s appointment to show him every good, adventurous thing he can still do. Treena believes that Lou can make Will happy.
The love between Lou and Treena is fraught with years of competition and jealousy, but Lou still realizes that her sister is one person who will always be there for her. Treena seems to believe that giving Will back his life of adventure will provide a purpose for Will that can convince him to continue living.
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