The Developmental Psychology Of The Notebook By Nick Cassavetes
The Notebook directed by Nick Cassavetes demonstrates character growth and multiple development theories including psychosocial and cognitive. The Notebook is a movie about a young couple who falls in love. Allie is from an extremely wealthy family who is completely appalled when they find out she has fallen in love with a young man, Noah, who is poor. The story is told through a “notebook” that Noah reads to Allie, whom has Alzheimer’s disease. Allie has no clue that Noah is her husband due to her disease. Although, Noah holds onto the hope that Allie will eventually come to and recognize that the story he is telling her is theirs. Developmental Psychology is integrated throughout the movie due to the development of Allie’s Alzheimer’s disease. Not only is there developmental change with Allie mentally and physically, her love Noah goes through his own character development such as depression and acceptance with his life decisions.
The Notebook is a very complex movie, not just a sappy love story about people who were meant to be together. Themes are always up for interpretation, especially when the movie appeals to such a wide range of people. The first theme noticed in the movie was that love can conquer anything and everything. Although this idea can sometimes overworked, in this particular movie it becomes the most predominant theme. Noah and Allie faced many setbacks throughout their entire relationship, yet somehow their love for each other always brought them back to being together again. Firstly, they had to face the pressures of Allie’s overbearing parents and find a balance between their social standings. Secondly, they drift apart due to a fourteen year separation caused by when Noah had to leave for WWII. Thirdly, they had to come face to face with her fiancé Lon Hamilton whom Allies parents truly approve of because he comes from an dominantly wealthy family. The final and most significant setback was Allie’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The second theme that was recognize throughout the movie was you should always follow your heart. Another simply cliché that ended up being deeply rooted within this movie. Due to Allie’s skewed views on social class, she spent all of fourteen years fearing the inevitable. She was afraid to disappoint her friends and family and had no idea that Noah was still in love with her. Once she pushed pass the nonsense that is social class, she accepted the fact that she really loved Noah and made the right decision to follow what her heart longed for. Coincidingly, Noah believed from the beginning that him and Allie were star-crossed lovers, destined to be soulmates. Finally, the third theme discovered in the movie was that you cannot go throughout life fearing other people’s opinions or perception of you. Allie almost learned this lesson the hard way when she almost caved in to her fear of hurting her family by choosing Noah over her powerful fiancé who her parents swooned over. For most of the movie, Allie gave in to the pressure from her family and friends. Only after she reads the letter from Noah does she realize where her head and heart lie and that no one, not her friends, family, or society can tell her who she loves and what she should do with her life.
Although the three themes mentioned previously tie in cohesively with developmental concepts, the plot of the movie itself is the definition of developmental psychology. In summary the movie is told from the point of view of Noah, as if he is reading the “notebook” to his wife Allie who no longer remembers him due to her illness of Alzheimer’s Disease. The story is all about there trials and tribulations as an on again off again couple who is somehow meant to be together forever. The story would not be as romantically engaging without the character development between Noah and Allie. For starters, Noah character begins to detach himself from the world in rigid attempt to cope with the death of his father, pain left behind from the war, and most importantly losing his one true love. Instead of coping in a healthy way, he tried to mask his pain by sleeping with a woman named Martha Shaw. Due to all of the events that occurred during that time period of Noah’s life, he became greatly depressed, thus making him rely on alcohol to suppress his emotional distress. Noah’s depression and loneliness continues for quite some time and only disappears with the return of his love Allie many years later. The second major developmental milestone that Noah confronts was during his years of young adulthood. Throughout the movie it became apparent that Noah had an estranged ideology in regards to intimacy and the concept of marriage. Noah experienced sexual intimacy with Martha but not love and only developed intimacy with her to cover up his lonesomeness. He never fathomed the concept of taking her on a real date, buying her flowers, let alone marrying her. Noah only uses his idea of intimacy to forget that fact that he truly only wants to love and marry Allie for the rest of his living life.
On the opposite side of the story, Allie herself goes through a developmental period of change especially during the time in which she becomes elderly. Allie unfortunately experiences dementia which greatly affects every aspect of her life. Allie’s dementia is as a result of her Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the disease, Allie can no longer remember that the man reading the story to her is actually her husband, Noah. Due to Allie’s Alzheimer’s disease, routine should be somewhat of a necessity when it comes to making her comfortable during the process of the disease soon taking over her entire brain. She was placed in an institutionalized home in hopes that she would get the care she needed and no longer be a burden for her family and Noah. Regardless, Noah attended the home periodically to comfort her and read from the notebook that unfolds their own miraculous story about love. Noah never saw Allie as a burden regardless of what he went through to get her, he accepted the fact that he has her now and will have her to love and cherish till the day she passes.
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of why and how we as human beings change over the course of our life. Developmental psychologists constantly focus on human development, growth, and change. Those changes can be spread out across a lifetime and can included intellectual, social, physical, cognitive, personality and emotional growth. Though there are a magnitude of other developmental periods throughout the movie The Notebook, as well as for both main characters Noah and Allie. There are also multiple other developmental aspects within the mentioned periods of time. These said periods for Noah and Allie exceedingly illustrate all aspects of developmental psychology. Noah’s character further developed from a starstruck young boy, to a depressed lonely young adult, to finally a san loving and mature man. Similarly, Allie also shows development in her character over the years. She went from a naïve young girl who had fallen for an older man, laid beneath the footings of her overbearing parents and friends, but finally broke free and learned to put herself first and follow what she truly wanted. Sadly, due to her development of Alzheimer’s, she took a turn for the worse psychologically. Overall, The Notebook is an fascinating story of a robust, star-crossed couple whose loves withstands developmental illness and hardships.
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The Notebook directed by Nick Cassavetes demonstrates character growth and multiple development theories including psychosocial and cognitive. The Notebook is a movie about a young couple who falls in love. […]