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"If I Stay" character analysis

A character becomes an entity signifying typical biophysical behavior; Emotions turn out as the manifestations of a tangible bio-energy. The same thing happens with Mia; the female protagonist of the novel “If I stay”. After the comatose stage she emotionally lapses due to the loss of her family. She faces thanatophobia including anxiety, dread, and distress.

I had broken through some invisible barrier and could finally play the pieces like I heard them being played in my head, and the result had been something transcendent; the mental and physical, the technical and emotional sides of my abilities all finally blending.

(Forman 178)

Wilhelm Reich (1945) explains character analysis is still valid and helpful in psychiatry but is far from being sufficient to cope with the bio-energetic core of emotional functions.

Forman analyzes the charismatic personality of Mia hall. She is the seventeen-year-old protagonist of “If I Stay”; a passionate and talented cello player from Oregon. She is likely Juilliard-bound after she graduates from high school.

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She is close with her Mom, Dad and eight-year-old brother Teddy, as well as with her Gran and Gramps, her father’s parents who live nearby. Quiet but driven, Mia spends most of her time with her family, her boyfriend, Adam, and best friend, Kim. Music is very important to Mia, as her parents were members of the punk rock scene in their younger days, and she grew to have a deep love of classical music. She often feels out of place in her family, though, due to her commitment to classical music rather than rock.

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She finds music as an emotional force to express feelings and emotions. Emotions are apt to overlook the organism as such and to remain stuck in the psychology of words and association. Emotions are a powerful force of brevity according to schizoanalysis.

Vegetotherapy is a form of Reichian psychotherapy (1935) that involves the physical manifestations of emotions. In Mia Hall, she wants emotional and physical consolation in life. Mia is passionate about her dreams; sleeps without dreams. I’ve heard people talk about the sleep of death (Reich 159).

The psychic realm of the emotions is much narrower than their bioenergetics realm; although certain diseases, such as vascular hypertension, cannot be attacked by psychological means, although language and thought association cannot possibly penetrate more deeply than to the phase of speech development, about the second year of life, the psychological aspect of emotional disease remains important and indispensable; it is no longer the foremost portant and indispensable ; it is no longer the foremost aspect of orgonomic biopschiatry. Mia physically loses her life. She collapsed the lung, a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding of unknown origin. I have also got broken ribs. Abrasions on my legs, which will require skin grafts; and on my face, which will require cosmetic surgery- but as a doctor note, that is only if I am lucky. And mentally she is in coma stage. Her life is at the deathbed. Her life sounds grave; the grave is where you go when things don’t work out here. (Forman 45)

Adam is a young rock music player. He is a passionate love of music. He had a small group of friends and a large group of admirers. Adam is the only reason for Mia life. He says I want you to stay more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. When Mia faces the danger of death, his voice chokes into a sob. His eyes are dripping with fatigue. Adam is a powerhouse of Mia life. The most important productive power called working power depends upon man’s psychic structure. Adam develops productive energy for Mia stay. Adam and Mia’s character is jointed like a rhizome. “All relationships are tough. Just like music, sometimes you have harmony and other times you have a cacophony. I don’t have told you that” (Forman 187).

Forman explains the social relationship of a family. The whole families are connected like a joint. She not only explains one society but her intention to explore the societal relationship of the whole world. Lives without family are like a body without a soul. The social production of ideologies had to be differentiated from the reproduction of these ideologies in the people of a given society. Society became divided into those who possess the mean of production and those who possess the commodity, working power, every social order. The character structures of the people of a given epoch or of a given social system are not only a mirror of this system.

Kim is Mia’s best friend. When they first met in middle school, Mia and Kim hated each other, mostly because teachers and other students assumed the two girls were already friends due to their similar looks and quiet demeanors. After physically exchanging blows, however, the girls are quickly able to laugh about their feud, and finally become fast friends. Kim’s mother, though well meaning, is overbearing, and makes her wear certain clothing and imposes strict curfews on her daughter. Kim is Jewish, and attends Jewish camp each summer in New Jersey. Kim is an aspiring photographer, and wants to work for National Geographic one day, just like her uncle does. Mia admires Kim for her personal strength and resilience, though is upset that Kim and Adam don’t become fast friends when Mia and Adam begin dating. Kim is on yearbook and has hopes of becoming a photographer” (Forman 25).

In the article some problem of psychoanalytic technique explained by Wilhelm Reich. The psychic agency known as the preconscious has erected psychic counter – catharsis against the breakthrough of repressed, unconscious impulses. Counter catharsis which act as a strict censor of one own thoughts and desires by preventing them from becoming conscious, so it is necessary in analytic treatment to dispense with the usual ordering of one’s thoughts required in everyday thinking and to allow one’s train of ideas to flow freely and without critical selection. In the course of analytic work, traces of one’s unconscious repressed demands and childhood experiences stand out ever more clearly amid the emerging material and, with the help of the analyst; these traces have to be translated into the language of the conscious. The so-called basic rule of psychoanalysis which requires that the censor be abolished and one’s thoughts be allowed to “associate freely,” is the strictest, most indispensable measure of analytic technique. (Reich, Wilhelm 1948 wilhelmreichtrust)

“Stay” with that one word, Adam voice catches, but he swallows the emotion and pushes forward. There’s no word for what happened to you. There’s no good side of it. But there is something to live for. And I am not talking about me. It’s just I don’t know. I am not dumb enough to think that I can undo that, that anyone can. But I can’t wrap my mind around the notion of you not getting old, having kids, going to Juilliard, getting to play that cello in front of a huge audience, so that they can get the chills the way I do every time I see you pick up your bow, every time I see you smile at me (Forman 206-207)

Adam works as a cathartic force for Mia. Catharsis is a mental and emotional comfort. He prays silently for Mia life. Freud used the term “anti-cathexis” or counter-charges to describe how the ego blocks such regressive efforts to discharge one’s cathexis: that is, when the ego wishes to repress such desires. Like a steam engine, the libido’s cathexis then builds up until it finds alternative outlets, which can lead to sublimation, reaction formation, or the construction of symptoms. Cathartic therapy the idea existed that is necessary “to liberate the strangulated effect from repression”.

M. Scott Peck (1978) distinguishes between love and cathexis, with cathexis being the initial in-love phase of a relationship, and love being the ongoing commitment of care. Cathexis to Peck, therefore, is distinguished from love by its dynamic element. (Peck 85)

Mia love for Teddy is unique one. Teddy is eight-year-old Mia brother. He is music lover. “Teddy was like half kid brother and half my own kid” (Forman 63) Music joined the whole family together. Music will always be a part of my life. Mia shouts and cry when she finds out teddy was dead. That was so hard I love teddy. It was very dark. I ran down the hall and I collapse on my knees and I am screaming. Mia is giving up in that moment. Not only is she finding out that Teddy’s dead, she’s also saying; to hell with this. I am done.

To Wilhelm Reich(1949) elaborates “A repressed idea is unlocked in the act of becoming conscious; the far greater and more important part is soon after shifted to another segment of unconscious activity if the affected is attached to the idea itself; the becoming conscious of unconscious material remains without therapeutic effect” (Reich, Wilhelm 1948 wilhelmreichtrust)

A determined, consistent, systematic resistance analysis does not succeed in all cases. Where it does succeed, such hopelessness is not part of the analysis. Where it does not succeed, such a situation occurs quite frequently. Uncertain of the outcome, we are forced, precisely because of it, to pay the greatest attention to the technique of character analysis

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"If I Stay" character analysis. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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