Connect the vision of love in the speech made by First Lady Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Aug. 27 1996 to what is shown in  The Notebook.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is a transcendent vision of love that First Lady Clinton emphasizes in her 1996 speech which shares similarities to what Sparks offers in his work.  The first shared point is that both visions of love speak to something that spans time.  There is little convenience in both notions of love.  Rather, love is seen as something that must persevere and challenge the painful conditions of the present in order to fulfill its larger conception.  First Lady Clinton emphasize this in her speech:

Right now there are mothers and fathers just finishing a long days work and there are mothers and fathers just going to work, some to their second or third jobs of day. Right now there are parents worrying, what if the babysitter is sick tomorrow or how can we pay for college this fall. And right now there are parents despairing about gang members and drug pushers on the corners in their neighborhoods. Right now there are parents questioning a popular culture that glamorizes sex and violence, smoking and drinking and teaches children that the logos on their clothes are more valued than the generosity in their hearts.

For First Lady Clinton, it is the idea of being able to see that love is something that transcends such conditions.  It is the belief that love and the idea that "it takes a village" is something that enables the power of love to overcome the challenging conditions of the present.  First Lady Clinton's vision of love is one in which individuals must endure and withstand the harsh conditions of the present.  To cave into the conditions she outlines above only means to abdicate the power of love.  Sparks' work stresses the same idea.  The love that Allie and Noah share is one that transcends the condition of what is and speaks to a more transcendent hope of being.  Allie and Noah have to overcome geographical separation, class consciousness, parental interference, and then must face their most arduous hurdle of Alzheimer's.  Yet, neither of them acquiesce. Rather, they recognize that the power of their love is what compels them to advance and to withstand what is into what can be.

Another idea is the notion of "it takes a village."  The love that First Lady Clinton speaks of is one in which many people recognize that their interests can be merged into a vision of love that can be shared and appreciated by all.  Certainly, this is something that is seen in Sparks' novel.  The love that Allie and Noah share even in the most difficult portion of their loves is understood and supported by the nurses.  They understand what the doctors fail to grasp.  Allie's memory, though brief, is restored because of the love that Noah has for her.  The nurses help to support something that they recognize is fundamentally powerful and transformative, demonstrating First Lady Clinton's idea that "it takes a village."  In these instances, the love in the speech and in the work are very similar in kind and in the hopes of redeeming the individual from what is into what can be.


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