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Free Study Guide - The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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THE NOTEBOOK STUDY GUIDE BY NICHOLAS SPARKS

OVERALL ANALYIS

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Noah Taylor Calhoun


Noah is a most engaging character who is unimpressed with striving for success no matter the cost. He is a blue-collar worker who spends an unexpected inheritance on restoring a beautiful plantation home. He is a hard worker in whatever he engages himself, but will never be sucked into a job that keeps him away from nature and the beauty of poetry. Allie says in her final letter to him, “I love you for many things, especially your passions . . . Love and poetry and fatherhood and friendship and beauty and nature.” All of these wonderful traits are ultimately what make her reject a life with Lon for one of spiritual love and adventure with Noah.

Allison Nelson

She is the young woman who faces the challenge of defying the life she has been told she must live in order to connect with her soul mate, Noah Calhoun. She spends a wonderful summer with him, loses her virginity to him, and then loses him for fourteen years. When she sees an article on his house, she is compelled to find him again and either tell him she is engaged or reconnect their love for each other. When Noah sees her again, he knows that she is still the wonderful woman he has missed for the last fourteen years. He describes her best: “a lover of life, a strength to those who shared in her friendships. She is a dream, a creator of happiness, am artist who has touched a thousand souls. She’s led a full life and wanted for nothing because her needs are spiritual and she has only to look inside her. She is kind and loyal, and she is able to see beauty where others do not. She is a teacher of wonderful lessons, a dreamer of better things.”

Lon Hamilton

Essentially a good and decent man, Lon courts Allie ardently, but once he has won her, she takes second place to his blossoming career as a lawyer. He spends many nights at work and only reserves one night a week when they can be together. Allie knows she is second in his priorities, but sees his better qualities and even though she knows their relationship lacks passion, she believes he offers her compatibility and companionship. She thinks she can live with that until she reconnects with Noah. Only then does Lon know what he is about to lose. He follows her to New Bern and tries desperately to convince her that he can change and be the kind of husband she wants, needs, and deserves. However, it is too little and too late. Allie chooses Noah. To his credit, Lon accept the loss as a gentleman, but Noah knows exactly how devastated he must have been when she turned away from him.


PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS

The first and the last chapters of the novel are narrated by Noah, who is now eighty years old and living in a nursing home with Allie, who is stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. His reading of the notebook to Allie in hopes of restoring her memories is the basis of a third person point of view presentation of Allie and Noah’s love story. The way their love overcomes even disease is resolved in the final chapter.

This is a romance and as such tends to a somewhat sugary story that may seem unrealistic to many readers. However, it is also a very poignant plot that allows the reader to suspend his disbelief and believe in miracles.

 

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