If I Stay

If I Stay Imagery

Thin blanket of white (Visual Imagery)

If I Stay opens with a visual image of Mia's front lawn covered in a thin blanket of snow. However, Mia explains how the snow in the Pacific Northwest is wet and miserable; this reshapes the image of the snow-covered lawn into a less picturesque winter scene, injecting a sense of unpleasantness.

Tiny flames lap at the wet road (Kinesthetic Imagery)

As Mia surveys the scene of the car crash, she notes that the impact "ignited bits of the gas tank, so that now tiny flames lap at the wet road." In this example of kinesthetic imagery, the temperature and substance of the hot flames contrasts against the wet road surface.

So much noise (Auditory Imagery)

Mia comments on how much noise was produced during the car crash: "A symphony of grinding, a chorus of popping, an aria of exploding, and finally, the sad clapping of hard metal cutting into soft trees. Then it went quiet, except for this: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata no. 3, still playing." In this example of auditory imagery, the violent and destructive sounds of the eviscerated car are described using the terms one would use to describe a classical music performance.

Adam's scent (Olfactory Imagery)

In the novel's final scene, Adam returns to Mia's bedside; he is panting, as though he has run a marathon. In an example of olfactory imagery, Mia inhales his scent: "Then I smell the sweat on him, a clean musky scent that I’d bottle and wear as perfume if I could."