"The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks


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The novel “The Notebook” is written by the author Nicholas Sparks in 1996. The romantic story mainly focuses on two main characters who are Noah and Allie. This love story opens with the two in a retirement home and the former prepares to narrate the story to the latter. Some opine that this novel is way more tragic because, in the end, Allie forgets who Noah is because of Alzheimer’s. Others suggest that it is a perfect love story of lost and found love since Allie left Noah, found him, they got married and had children. Never the less, “The Notebook” is a catastrophic story which is noticed by Allie’s sickness, secondary characters. To begin with, there are many seemingly convincing arguments saying that the novel is hopeful, especially the symbols like “winter for two” (153) which signifies that Noah and Allie are united before obstacles, after winter comes spring which represents rebirth of the love between the two. [..] “Old church abandoned for years but still standing” (33) which represents the love between the two still exists. Besides, the principal characters have four children thus there is a sense of immortality which creates a legacy of Noah in the world. To continue, these children and other relatives also come and visit the protagonists some times for only a while and besides they have photos and paintings which help to kill their loneliness. In addition, others claim that the miracles which occur in the book for example Allie comes across a newspaper article which shows the address dream house of Noah.

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Also, some claim that the story is hopeful because Noah gains a sense of temporary youth “I feel myself becoming stronger with every step” (210) which helps him reach his wife’s room. […] “Noah… my sweet Noah…” (189) says Allie as she remembers Noah sometimes which he considers as a gift because of her disease and they make love at the end of the novel makes some believe that the novel is not tragic. All in all such anti-tragic opinions only appear persuasive at first glance. Nevertheless, a deeper analysis of some literary devices demonstrates this work by Sparks is tragic. […] “Day and night are linked in a way […] they cannot exist at the same time” (176) symbolizes the protagonists cannot spend their nights together, or share memories because of Allie’s Alzheimer’s disease. In the re-incarnation letter Noah says “[…] it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected” (121) which symbolizes even if Noah loves Allie so much they are forced apart due to the circumstances. As well as lines from Whitman’s poem “the day erased, the lesson done” (11) typifies the end of the love between the protagonists. […] “night, sleep, death” (11) means the end of everything. On top of that, “[…] swans will go back to Mattamuskeet” (108) expresses that Allie will go back to Lon so she will not stay with Noah forever.

Indeed, an extensive study of literary devices show how tragic the novel is. Next, one can discuss about the secondary characters in the tale for example Lon, Doctor Barnwell and fin. “I cannot go back with you, I am sorry,” (174) says Allie as leaves her fiancé for an unemployed man; Lon is heartbroken because he loved her so much and worst of all his society wedding is cancelled which is an immense insult to his family. Doctor Barnwelll is also lonely as Noah says “I am alone,” […] “and so are you.” (195). The former spends little time with his family as he is helping the elderly and treating the sick most of his time. He over works himself in order to provide the best living conditions for the people in the nursing home. Fin is killed in the war “fin died in the war” (69) and Noah regrets for persuading him to join the army. Assuredly, a scrutiny of the minor characters in the book signify how dreadful it is. Lastly, the aspect of time proves how dismal this romantic is. “I am alone” (195) says Noah, they have lost freedom since him and Allie no longer sleep in the same room she would think that somebody is “raping” her.

The photos, paintings and letters which he uses to eliminate his loneliness have faded. The two are visited only sometimes for a very short while by their relatives and children leaving them lonely again. “[…] my days are spent like an old party balloon: listless, spongy, and growing softer over time,” Noah’s illness gets worsens with time, he suffers from rheumatism, cataracts, cancer and also gets a stroke which will eventually kill him. Spending forty- nine years together represents a failure of some kind as they do not reach the golden anniversary. Allie’s Alzheimer’s makes her forget everything, not even remembering who her husband is. She remembers him twice but in the ending she says, “who are you?” (193) forgetting Noah again.

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