‘Me Before You’ exhibits the lessons learned from love


Nasra Artan, Staff Writer

Spoiler Alert

Many have different opinions on what the meaning of life is and if we even have a purpose. It’s a question that will possibly never have a direct answer because, at the end of the day, our lives only have meaning if we give it one. While finishing “Me Before You,” I was left with many questions. What is the meaning of life? Had this character’s life lost meaning after his accident or did he conclude that life might not have a meaning at all? 

“Me Before You” is a tragic love story of a quirky and lively young woman named Louisa Clark who loses her job but soon finds another one as a caregiver to a very handsome (but also very quadriplegic) man named Will Traynor. During the beginning of their journey together, Louisa learns that Will plans on going to Dignitas, a suicide organization in Switzerland, in six months. At first, Louisa wanted to quit; she figured she was in over her head and not at all qualified. But after some research and the help of his parents, she decided to do everything in her power to show Will that his life could have meaning. I commend Louisa for the work she put in regarding Will but I couldn’t help but ask, is she being selfish by trying to keep him alive? Will believed that his life ended the day of his crash because since then he hasn’t been able to feed himself, bathe himself, or even dress himself. Which begs the question: is he really living if everything he needed was dependent on others? During their six months working together, Louisa falls for Will, which only motivates her plan to show him that life can be worth living. However, even after their adventures to the horse race, his ex’s wedding, her birthday dinner, and their trip to the island of Mauritius, his decision still stood. When it came to Louisa’s life he wanted her to live it to the fullest. But when it came to his life, he believed he’d already lived his to the fullest. Many can argue that he didn’t give life as a quadriplegic a chance, but Will went from being a very adventures and athletic man to being bound to a chair and feeling less of a man. Sometimes, transitions can be too difficult and not something worth settling for.

As beautiful as their love was, it was also tragic. During the end of their trip to the island, after Louisa professed her love for him, he asks her to accompany him on his trip to Switzerland. After reading that, I was as conflicted as Louisa was. Would you accompany someone you love to their final destination? As difficult as the situation/question is, I would and so did Louisa. After a very difficult mental battle, she went to Switzerland; she knew if she hadn’t she would regret it. 

Me Before You is a book full of mental battles, love, conflictions and characters that will touch your heart. Many see romance novels as cliche and predictable but Jojo Moyes made sure this book was nothing of the sort. When reading romance novels many expect a happily ever after but this book had no intentions of meeting expectations, the book left many people angry, sad, heartbroken, and conflicted. Love isn’t easy and it isn’t always beautiful but the lessons we learn from them are and I think that is what Moyes was implying.