What is the major conflict in The Notebook?

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major conflict of the story has its roots in the past.  The "notebook" is an accounting of the life of Allie and Noah.

Allie and Noah are from the same town, but different sides of the tracks.  As Allie "grows up," she grows away from her small town associations and seems on track to a life of a sophisticated wife, married to a man of wealth and potential--she is engaged to marry another man (Lon), but pays one last visit to Noah.  It is at this point that their relationship is rekindled and Allie leaves Lon for Noah.

The conflict arises many years after Noah and Allie marry. They have a good life, children and grandchildren, but Allie gets Alzheimer's disease, and cannot recall the past.  She remember little bits and pieces from time to time, but then retreats to a place where she no longer recognizes her family--even Noah, the love of her life.

Noah patiently reads to the aging Allie from his notebook each day.  As each day begins, she believes that her "friend" Noah is telling her someone else's story.  It is "their" story, but most often she does not remember.  Though it breaks his heart to feel as if he is losing more of Allie each day, Noah continues to tell their story, and he finds great joy when she sees in him the man she married so many years ago.

bluerosek01 | Student

In the novel "The Notebook" Noah is a boy of lower income and Allie is from a wealthy family who vacations in Noah's town.  The first conflict is the difference between the two future lover's classes.  Noah is not considered an appropriate mate for Allie. 

Allie loves Noah but is sent off to school.  Noah professes his love for Allie but realizes he can not ever live up to her parent's standards.  He is finally reunited with Allie and eventually marries her.

The overall conflict in the book is Allie's mental deterioration due to Alzheimer's Disease is taking her away from Noah.  Noah uses the notebook as a means to bring Allie's memories back so that he can have her recognize him even for a brief moment.  He is dedicated to his wife.

In the end the two die together.  Love has kept Noah and Allie together.