The Notebook is a love story between Noah and Allie, characters built upon Nicholas Sparks’ wife’s grandparents who were in their eighties and still in love. As the character Noah explains in the beginning of TheNotebook, this is a tragic love story. The tragedy comes in the later years of the characters’ lives, as Allie can no longer remember who Noah is. This is painful for Noah and frightening for Allie. However, the expression of their love is so powerful that even the effects of Alzheimer’s cannot keep every memory of love submerged in the depths of forgetfulness. Doctors cannot explain how every once in a while, Allie suddenly recognizes Noah, even in the later stages of the disease. The nurses at the home, however, are fully aware of how this is so. They see the love in Noah’s eyes, in the way he patiently tends to his wife, even though she sometimes screams at him to leave her alone because he frightens her. She believes Noah is a stranger, at times, and the doctors make Noah leave the room.
The author paints a beautiful picture of the passion that these two characters share as they face the challenges that try to keep them apart. Readers witness Allie and Noah’s wild emotions as they first taste their love as well as the quieter moments in later years when all they have to do is gently grasp one another’s hands to express how deeply they feel about one another.
Another theme in this novel is that of growing old. In the process of aging, great transformations are made. Noah, who was once an athlete with a very strong build, is suffering with old age. His hands are gnarled so badly he can barely turn the pages of the books he reads. He is constantly cold no matter how many clothes he wears and how much heat is pouring into his room. He also has a stroke, so by the end of the novel, he struggles to walk from his room to that of Allie’s. Allie suffers even more. As time passes, she remembers less...
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