Sunday, November 28, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


The novel If I Stay by Gayle Forman tells the story of a 17 year old girl named Mia and her decision to live or die. It all begins when one morning Mia and her brother Teddy wake up for school only to find that school has been cancelled due to the arrival of snow. Since Mia's father is a teacher, he also has the day off and their mother has called of work so she can stay home with everybody else. The family decides to go on an "adventure" to visit their grandparents. While on their journey, their car is suddenly hit by a pickup truck going 60 mph down the road. The car is instantly destroyed. Mia then all of a sudden 'wakes up' and feels completely fine. She is still at the site of the horrendous accident. Her clothes are perfectly clean and she deels just as she did before the accident, and she' not exactly sure what happened. She explores the spot of the accident and sees her father and mother laying lifeless on part of the road. She then sees her body, mangled and soaked in blood, under some snow on the side of the road. This makes her begin to wonder if she herself is dead and that she is in a state between death and the arrival to Heaven. The fire department and ambulance arrive next at the scene and this is when Mia realizes that nobody see her or notices her. She hears the EMT's cover her parents in body bags and she sees her body life flighted to a nearby hospital. She has broken ribs, brain damage, internal bleeding, and other life-threatening issues. This makes her think that she isn't dead because the doctor's are flying her to a hospital. As her unconsciousbody is in the hospital, Mia in her spirit form begins to worry that her boyfriend, Adam, will have no way of knowing that she's in critical condition in the hospital. She wants to be able to see him, but since nobody notices her in her spirit form, this is impossible at the moment. When her grandparents come to visit, they ask the nurse if she is going to be ok and one of the nurses tells them that "she [Mia] is running the show. (73)" The nurse is implying that Mia will make the decision to live or die. Mia then wonders how she makes the decision and she weighs the goods and bads to living or dying. If she chooses to die, then she can be with her parents in Heaven, but if she lives then she can live out her life with her best friend Kim and her boyfriend Adam. As the novel progresses, Mia flashes back to times in her life that she spent with either Adam or Kim and she wonders how life for them would be if she left. This decision becomes very hard for her to make, taking into account her love for her family in Heaven, but also for her love for her bestfriend and boyfriend living on Earth. In the end, Mia makes the decision that she believes is right for her.
Discussion Question:
1) What would you do if you were in Mia's position? Would you choose to stay with your family if it meant you had to die and leave the ones you loved? Or would you choose to live and stay with your boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, and other loved ones on Earth?

7 comments:

Erika B 13-14 said...

This is a difficult question to answer. I feel like she should go with her family, but on the other hand, staying with her friends and loved ones on Earth is also important. If I were in Mia's position, I think I would choose to stay with my loved ones on Earth. Though my family is extremely important to me, if I didn't die at the scene of the crash with them, I would take that as a sign that it wasn't my time to go yet. Your family will always be watching over you and waiting for you up there in Heaven, but you only get to live once.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

i agree with you. I would probably choose to live and stay on Earth also because Heaven is always going to be there and i'll be there eventually so i would want to live out my life on Earth with my loved ones until my time came to go to Heaven with my family

Hayley D 11/12 said...

This question is so hard to answer but I agree with what Erika said, you only have one chance to live. I think that I would also choose to stay on Earth with my other family members and friends. But you mentioned that she has brain damage and if the damage was severe I don't think I would choose to stay because I wouldn't want to be a vegetable just lying there. Most likely, I would choose to live because life is precious and worth every second.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

Being me, in all honesty, I would choose to live. Even if I knew my parents were in heaven and if I chose to live I wouldn't have my family, there is so much for me to do with my life then to just die. My parents would have wanted me to live my life to the fullest, go to college, achieve my dreams, get married, and everything else I didn't experience. To just die would mean my existence was pointless. I didn't experience all the great things life has to offer. So if I were in her position, I would choose to live knowing my parents would have been happy I did so.

Steve S 13-14 said...

I personally would choose to stay on Earth. I think my religious views have a lot to do with this choice because the way I see it, I'll be able to spend eternity with my family once I die my own way

Cassie M 11-12 said...

I would choose to live if I were in Mia's position. I love my family, and I would never be the same if they were all dead. On the other hand, dying is taking the easy way out of a hard situation, and I know my family would not want me to do that. Music is a big part of Mia's life (and mine), so I would use it to help me through the situation. Music in itself is a reason to keep living.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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