Analysis Of “The Notebook” By Nicholas Sparks
The novel “The Notebook” is written by the author Nicholas Sparks. The romantic story mainly focuses on two main characters who are Noah and Allie who have a summer fling and later come together after being separated for fourteen years. This love story is a description of the events which occur after the two separate, how they get back together and get married. It also shows how they spend their old age in a retirement home. 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 a couple who lose and find their love since Allie leaves Noah, finds him, and they get married and have children. Nevertheless, the book is a catastrophic story since it does not have an ever happy ending which is noticed by the literary devices, Allie’s sickness, and the secondary characters.
To begin with, there are many convincing arguments which refer to the novel as a hopeful work because of the symbolism. Such as the title of chapter twelve, “winter for two” (153), the two in the title symbolizes that Noah and Allie are united before obstacles. Following winter comes spring which represents the rebirth of love between the two as she sometimes remembers him. One can also argue that as aged Noah remembers watching the sunset with Allie, he notices, “[…] day and night […]; There cannot be one without the other […]” (176). This signifies the two cannot exist without each other, are and always will be together even in the future lives. In the re-incarnation letter, Noah writes, “[…] our souls are connected” (122), which represents the couple’s souls are forever linked to each other in every life and that they are one. Some lines in Whitman’s poem attribute to the fact that this story is hopeful as he states, “[…] thy free flight […]” (11). This line implies freedom of souls after the death of the protagonists. If one examines the achievements the couples make, like they accomplish their dreams; Noah’s to travel, buy the house, and Allie’s to paint hence she ends up becoming a famous painter. The two have four children, who sometimes come to visit them. The off springs act as a legacy in the world of the duo. Also, there is a sense of immortality through the works of art, photos, letters and, their house in New Bern. Additionally, Noah gets to marry the lady of his dreams even after fourteen years and he spends forty-nine years with her which denotes to a successful and happy marriage. Finally, the miracles of love like Allie comes across a newspaper article which shows the address of Noah’s house thus she goes to visit him and they eventually get together. In the last chapter, as Noah walks towards his wife’s room he feels himself becoming strong and young with passion in his heart making him a youth temporarily. Allie remembers Noah twice despite her Alzheimer’s disease; first, when they have dinner together and also towards the end of the book the duo make love. All in all, such hopeful opinions appear persuasive at first glance.
Nevertheless, a more in-depth analysis of some literary devices demonstrates this work by Sparks is tragic. For example, the heading of chapter twelve “winter for two” (153), winter is cold and the end of year represents the end of Noah and Allie’s relationship due to the latter’s Alzheimer’s and imminent death. In addition to that, Noah recalls seeing the sunset with his wife, he notes, “[…] yet they cannot exist at the same time” (176). This denotes the two cannot spend time together as it is seen that they do not sleep together at night because of Allie’s disease which might make her think she is being raped because she does not remember her husband. Whitman’s poem where he states, “[…] night […] death […]” (11), displays the end of everything between the protagonists as death is final. Lastly, some metaphors in the reincarnation letter like Noah mentions, “[…] hurts so much to separate […]” (121) are no longer together since Allie leaves New Bern after the summer and does not reply to the letters that Noah sends to her. Indeed, some literary devices in the book demonstrate the gloominess in the novel.
Next, one can discuss the secondary characters in the tale, for example, Lon, Doctor Barnwell, and fin. When Allie meets Lon, they sit on a bench by the old Methodist church, she says, “[…], I cannot go back with you, I am so sorry, […]” (174) and she leaves Lon for an unemployed man. Lon loses his fiancé and is heartbroken because he loves her so much and worst of all he cancels the society wedding which is an immense insult to his family. Moreover, Doctor Barnwell is also lonely this can be seen when Noah talks to him in the room of the former and he mentions, “I am alone,” […] “and so are you” (195). The doctor spends very little time with his family as he is helping the elderly and treating the sick most of his time in the retirement home. Barnwell overworks himself to provide the best living conditions possible for the people in the nursing home thereby not having enough time for himself. Noah’s friend Fin is killed in the war as he tells Allie “Fin died in the war […]” (69). Noah thinks he is responsible for the death of Fin because he persuades him into joining the army which is also right to some extent. Assuredly, a scrutiny of the minor characters how dreadful this novel is.
Lastly, the aspect of time proves how dismal this romantic is. Noah states to Barnwell in the retirement home, “I am alone,” (195). The pair has lost their freedom since they are no longer allowed to meet each other at anytime they want and spend most of their time away from each other in spite of being in the same building. Moreover, the photos, paintings and letters which he uses to eliminate his loneliness have faded because they are also getting old with time. The two are visited only sometimes for a very short while by their relatives and children who later leave after a short visit. Likewise, Noah’s illness gets worse with time as he reveals, “[…] I am neither strong nor healthy [..]” (2). He suffers from rheumatism, cataracts, cancer and also gets a stroke which makes his life harder as time passes leading to his death. 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 for a very short while as Noah states, “and the thief comes” (191). Allie’s disease takes over her again and she forgets everything and starts seeing gnomes. Undoubtedly the side of time exhibits the affliction in the book.
In conclusion, this non-fiction can be said to be a tragic novel. The dark side can be shown by an in-depth analysis of literary devices, secondary characters and the aspect of time. Regarding literary devices like the “day and night” metaphor indicates Noah and Allie can never exist together thereby the couple sleep in separate rooms away from each other regardless of being under one roof. Then concerning the peripheral characters, Lon loses his fiancé as Allie leaves him heartbroken to go to Noah and he cancels the society wedding which degrades Lon’s family name. Ultimately, the most cogent argument is concerning time since as days pass, the couple’s condition becomes worse, Noah struggles to live with his diseases as Allie barely remembers anything.
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