Me Before You

Themes and Colors
Ambition and Achievement Theme Icon
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Quality of Life Theme Icon
Fitness Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Me Before You, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Me Before You celebrates ambition, encouraging the characters to try for their dreams even if they seem unattainable. Yet at the beginning of the novel, both Lou and Will are watching life pass by instead of participating in it. Lou seems content in a dead-end job still living with her parents, unable to understand or sympathize with her far more ambitious sister – though Lou’s safe, boring life is later shown to be a coping…

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At its heart, Me Before You is a love story, though it is somewhat unconventional in that the main characters do not end up together at the end. Despite the lack of a traditional “happily ever after,” Moyes still argues that love is an essential part of life – a complicated approach to love that addresses both romantic and familial bonds as the characters try to balance what’s best for the people they love with…

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Moyes considers many answers to the question, “What makes life worth living?” One possible answer is money and status, as the well-to-do and high-society Traynor family seems to have everything that the Clark family, stuck living pay-check to pay-check, desires. Yet though Will owns a castle and can pay for anything he wants, his wealth does not console him after his accident and it does not bring the Traynor family closer together, as Moyes argues…

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In centering the novel around a quadriplegic man, Moyes explores what it means to be healthy and fit. Moyes draws a distinction between mental health and physical health and argues against subconsciously equating mental and physical fitness. Moyes contrasts the mental and physical states of Lou’s Granddad, who has suffered a stroke and is no longer fully lucid, and Will, who can no longer use much of his body after a traffic accident…

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