What are some figurative languages or techniques used in the novel Five Feet Apart that explore the ideas of love and death?
Love and death are without a doubt the two most prevalent themes in Five Feet Apart. This poignant story is the tale of two teenagers, Stella and Will, who meet in hospital while they are both fighting life-threatening cystic fibrosis. Stella is hoping to get a lung transplant. Will, unfortunately, has another condition called B. Cepacia, which means that he is not a candidate for a transplant. The only thing that Will has to hope for is a miracle.
One of the most poignant metaphors is one that Stella's late sister, Abby, shares with her when Stella has a near-death experience. She tells her sister that this is not her time to die, but that she will always be "just an inch away." This obviously cannot be true in a physical sense, but metaphorically, this reminds Stella that her sister's memory will never leave her.
Another great example of a metaphor is when Barb, one of the nurses who looks after Stella, tells her that if she picks up a secondary infection by being careless, she can "kiss the possibility of contracting new lungs goodbye." This kiss is obviously not a literal kiss, but Barb's words succinctly remind Stella of what is at stake.
I would argue that Rachael Lippincott's technique of having both Stella and Will narrate parts of the story allows the themes of love and death to be explored in greater depth than if only one of them had told the story. This way, we get a male and female perspective on the ideas of love and death, as well as the perspective of one character who has realistic hope for a future and one who does not.