The one interesting thing about books is how the same story appears unique to different readers. In the book "Notebook Novel", that is the same as different readers have different opinions as to whether the novel is tragic or not. The book is written by Nicholas Sparks who brings out a classic story of love found, lost and regained. The story is romantic and beautiful, and it has touched many readers. However, people hold different opinions on the book as to whether it is tragic or not. After deep consideration, I take the side that the story is tragic, and this mounts from the literary devices used by Nicholas Sparks which create a sorrow atmosphere, the health issues that Allie and Noah have in their old ages, and the pitiful secondary characters.
In the last chapter "Winter for Two," Noah who is the narrator begins to feel his age and he stated that "he is as rusted as a junked car twenty years in the Everglades." Age has come with many health issues to the old man, and despite the staff trying to make him comfortable, age always wins out. The story is indeed tragic beginning from the poems that Noah reads to Allie. An example is "Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you, not till the water glisten for you" (157) which is a clear show that death is a feeling of absurd loneliness. There is also symbolism in another quote which shows that Noah and Allie are forever apart, and this is a tragic ending. This is the quote of "day and night" where there is a mention of metaphor; "I know what it is like to be day and night now; always together forever apart" (176). One can see the tragedy and the fact that Allie and Noah are always forced by circumstances to be apart. Although they were always star-closed, they can no longer get together.
There are also misfortune aspects when we look at the secondary characters. The two protagonists are claimed to be having a happy life together with their four children, but they have lost their son who is four years old. Noah remembers his son who resembled his beloved as he reads the letter he had sent to Allie over years: "It is a terrible thing to outlive your child, a tragedy I wish upon no one" (171). Noah things that losing his or her child to death is the most tragic thing that a parent could ever undergo. He adds that if he could he could trade his own life for his child. The text is again made a tragedy through the death of a secondary character, Fin, who is Noah's best friend. The death Fin went through is harsh since he was destroyed in the war, and Noah feels the sense of guilt for having allowed his close friend Fin to join the battle. Lon is another secondary character in the story who has to sustain a big loss to the family, and he plays a significant role in the love story. Before Allie comes back to Noah, Lon is her fiance, and he has to let go, Allie, who is the only woman he has always wanted to marry. Noah acknowledges that Lon is a good man in the letter he sends to his wife. "He behaves as a gentleman would, and I understand why then your choice was so hard" (174). Lon knows that it will be impossible keeping his love to Allie when she firms that she cannot go back to him, and this Lon respects her making it extremely difficult for Allie to leave Lon.
Finally, when considering the tragic aspect of the book, health issues cannot be left out. Noah experiences some torture of physical illness during his last years of life, such as arthritis, cancer, heart attacks, and stroke. The doctors predict that a stroke almost brought Noah down. "They could be serious, especially for someone of his age, and the consequences could be severe" (198). This reveals that it is very dangerous. Noah can hardly walk nor control his body, inhibiting him from coming to his wife. Allie's psychological disease is a major problem that suffers both the protagonists. When Noah hears the report from the doctors that "Alzheimer's is a thief of hearts and souls and memories," (167) he becomes hopeless from such a piece of heart-breaking news.
Generally, The Notebook is a tragic work when the secondary characters, the literary devices, and the protagonists' health issues it is examined. The story is dominated by separation and loneliness among the couple right from the poem of Noah's favorite poet to the reincarnation letter sent to Allie. Moreover, the desperation in the book is further revealed from what happens to each of the secondary characters like Lon and Fin. In the end, Noah gets alone due to the psychological issues Allie is experiencing disabling her to remember him. Allie forgets how much she loves Noah and all the memories that they share.
Sparks, Nicholas. "The notebook." Hachette UK, 2014. Retrieved from: https://sep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/monkeynote/pmNotebook-NicholasSparksSample.pdf
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