Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Top Ten

Nicholas Sparks writing style: one of the most important parts of the book Dear John is the writing style. Sparks is very good at foreshadow, and he uses it in the best way possible. Instead of being obvious about what is going to happen, he leaves you with hints, so you keep wondering what is going to happen. He often uses foreshadow to hint at what each person in the relationship is feeling and he always keeps you wanting to read more.

Character of John: John’s is a round character that changes a lot in the book. He starts off being rebellious, and hating his father. Once he joined the army, he became more caring, but still quite selfish, and blaming his father for everything that went wrong in his childhood. After he meets Savannah, he starts taking responsibility, and becomes selfless.

Theme staying true to the ones you love: This theme from the book is reinforced multiple times. One first sees it in relating to John and Savannah’s relationship. While John is at war, Savannah and John decided to keep seeing each other, but after a while Savannah cheats on him. Another time you see this is when John starts off blaming his father for his bad childhood. But as time goes on, he learns that he needs to be close and support his father, because he is all his father has.

Event of September 11: This event changes John and Savannah’s relationship completely. Before the event, John was coming home soon, they were both looking forward to the event and both needed to see each other to keep the relationship strong. Once September 11 happens, John feels obligated to stay at war with his men. When he stays, Savannah loses faith in the relationship and needs comforting, and there is Tim. Soon after, she cheats on John.

Setting on the Ranch: At the end of the book, Savannah has moved to a ranch, like she had always dreamed of. She lives in an older house, close to her family. On the ranch, she is raising multiple horses and uses them to connect with autistic children. This setting is important because it shows that while John was away at war, others had continued with their lives. Savannah, in particular, had fulfilled her dream job, at a dream house, and gotten married. The setting is exactly what Savannah wanted in her life.

Event of Illness: Illness plays a big part in this book. John’s dad has a illness called Aspergers disease. It affects his father’s ability to communicate with the outside world, and it explains much of the problems John had connecting to his dad. Another illness presented in the book is skin cancer. Tim is diagnosed with skin cancer before John comes to reunite with Savannah. Without the disease, Savannah may have been able to be with John, like she seems like she wants to. The disease obligates her to stay with Tim.

Title Dear John: The title has much importance with the book. While John was at war, letters were the main way that they could communicate. It was also the way that John found out that Savannah cheated on him. Since 90% of the relationship John was at war, it was the only way that they could stay connected.

Setting at war: John is at war for much of the book. The setting is dark and tragic, most of all; it’s a very lonely place. The loneliness of it makes him miss Savannah even more, and you can really tell how much he feels for her when he is gone. It is also important because it shows John’s rebellious side.

Event of Affairs: the Affair Savannah had with Tim while she was dating John changed many people’s lives in multiple ways. Firstly, John had changed a lot from the affair. Before, he was still quite selfish. Afterwards, he changed to selfless. Now he spends time caring for his father. Savannah changed from very pure and great ideals, to more determined, and more selfish.

Character of Savannah: Savannah also changed through the book, but she was always someone to look up to. She had great morals; always do what’s right, and very honest. Later in the book, she changes and becomes less honest when she cheats on John. She becomes more determined as well, she gets her dream house and dream job as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

week seven; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week seven; post two

I have loved reading this book; and the ending was as good as the rest. I was really happy that Savannah stayed with Tim, even though she loves John more, because she feels a need to be loyal to him, and stay with him, cure him and help him heal from the melanoma. He needs her to take care of Alan, his disabled brother, and to be by his side through all of the chemotherapy. If she had left, her and John’s relationship would always be filled with guilt from leaving Tim behind. John was the bigger man, and let her go. But he didn’t just do that, he also donated his fathers legacy, his coin collection and all its worth to curing Tim, anonymously. It was the only thing that his dad left for him, and what his dad spent all his time on, and finally paid off to helping Savannah and Tim live happily ever after for a long time. John is such a good man to help Tim who took Savannah away from him. The truth is that John loves Savannah too much, and just wants her happiness, even if that means he can’t be with her. With the money that John donated, Tim was admitted to a better hospital with new research on melanoma cures, and the research cured him. They couldn’t have done it without the money. Even though John is alone, he finds peace knowing that Savannah is happy.

week seven; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week seven; post one

Wry: a twisted expression of distaste or displeasure; often with a sense of irony.
Melanoma: a type of skin cancer; a dark colored tumor arising from the skin; often deadly.

One emerging theme is to love who you are with

week six; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week six; post two

Nicholas Sparks does a great job of foreshadow in the book, and it makes the book much more powerful and emotional. When John was leaving Savannah for the first time, she warns him not to break her heart (pg. 132), and it makes us as readers feel like something will come between them because she is nervous about it. So when we read Savannah’s letter, and she says she fell in love with someone else, the readers just know that something is breaking them apart, and we can feel it (pg. 182). Another foreshadow from earlier is when John is leaving town, he comments about how Tim will always be a better man than he, which leaves one thinking that John believes that Savannah should end up with the better man, Tim (pg. 133). When we find that Savannah fell in love, my first thought was Tim. And once again, the foreshadowing was powerful, because even though I thought it was Tim, I didn’t actually know until later (pg. 229). Leaving us guessing who the man she fell in love was built up suspense so we just want to know that much more. And here again, Sparks is using foreshadow when John says, “When she looked up, her eyes were filled with… What? Regret? I couldn’t tell.”(pg. 220). This statement suggests that Savannah may regret leaving John, and also shows that John is looking for more than a friendship from Savannah.

week six; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week six; post one

“When she looked up, her eyes were filled with… What? Regret? I couldn’t tell.”(pg. 220). John said when visiting savannah. It shows that John wants Savannah to regret her actions, because he still loves her.

One emerging theme is that everyone needs a friend.

week five; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week five; post two

In this section, one can really begin to see how their relationship is changing and spreading apart. John says, “I knew then that something had changed between us, but at the time, I didn’t have the courage to find out what,” (pg. 174).And you can tell that they both know that the time spent apart while john is at war is affecting them. But even so, they both thought that they could make it, because john soon was off, until September 11. The time apart was beginning to be painful for the both of them, and started taking their anger out on each other. John explains that they started arguing with each other on the phone and that more and more often, when John called, Savannah didn’t answer (pg. 182). The more he felt Savannah was slipping through his fingers, the more he made an effort, only to push her away even more. They were in a spiraling cycle, pushing each other away, and they both knew it but didn’t admit it to each other. Both knew the relationship had changed, neither brave enough to say it. It is so sad to read about them, so in love, but separated by time and space. At the end of the section, we find out that they were separated by more than just space, Savannah had fallen in love with another man (pg. 186-187). I understand that she was lonely, missing John, but the fact is that John stayed loyal to her, when he had chances of his own. Savannah was too weak to stay loyal. It must have been hard for her worrying about John daily, but even so, she should have waited. This also means that she had been lying to John. That all the times that he called and she wasn’t there, she was with another man, and that all of the letters since then have been lies. She betrayed his trust in more ways than one.

week five; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week five; post one

John says, “I knew then that something had changed between us, but at the time, I didn’t have the courage to find out what.” This quote is significant because it shows that space is coming between the once unbreakable couple.

One emerging theme is to always be loyal to the ones you love.