If I Stay Questions and Answers
by Gayle Forman

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What is the main theme of If I Stay? Provide an analysis of this theme.

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Gayle Forman's If I Stay tells the poignant story Mia, who falls into a coma after a horrific accident that causes the death of her parents and brother. Mia, as her body is in a coma, seems to have an out of body experience and watches her loved ones hold vigil at her bedside. She is faced with the decision to wake or to pass on and join her parents and brother.

Mortality is one of the novel's biggest themes. Mia is a teenager when the catastrophic accident that kills her family occurs, and she herself narrowly survives. The accident also occurs on a seemingly normal day. Forman seems to be trying to convey how quickly life can change without warning, and how fragile human life is, no matter how old someone is.

Love is also a major theme. Of course, Mia and Adam's love story spends a lot of time unfolding throughout the novel, and Adam is one of the people who holds a near-constant vigil at Mia's bedside, begging her to wake. The love of family also becomes a part of this theme. Mia has lost her parents and her brother, but still has a family who loves her, especially her grandfather.

Mia is also faced with a decision that serves as the book's biggest conflict. Her choice to live or die, stay or go, is a central theme of the story. Mia goes from agonizing over which college to attend to deciding whether she should live or die. She tries to figure out where she belongs in the grand scheme of life and does so through the various choices she must make.

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