Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Outside Reading Book Top Ten List

Top Ten List
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Main Character John:

John Tyree is one of the main characters of Dear John (hence the title). John is an army-enlisted mid-twenty year old man. Two qualities he has is determination and respectfulness. He is determined because of his dedication towards getting back with Savannah. He shows his characteristic of respectfulness when it came to Savannah and her ambitions and goals in life, he respected them all. His significance of the story is that the plot revolves around him and his story of how he fell in love with Savannah and the obstacles he faced with the relationship of her and his father.

Main Character Savannah:

Savannah Curtis is a main character in this book. She is so generous in the way she volunteers her summers to help build houses for the needy and her desires to help autistic kids. She is a main character because she is the girl of who falls in love with John; and their relationship is the basis of the plot. The mood of the story often is a reflection of her feelings.

Motif of Loss:

In the story a reoccurring idea is loss. John loses his father from a heart attack and mild stroke. He also lost the strong relationship he had just mended with his father. John also lost the love of his life, Savannah, when she married another man while he was away fighting in the war in Iraq. Lastly, John lost his feeling of security in his country when the terrorist attacks of September 11 occurred.


The setting of the book is in North Carolina on the coast majority of the time. Otherwise it took place at the house that Savannah was staying at while building houses in North Carolina. Also Iraq and Germany were other places were John was and occasionally described in lots of detail. No significant events took place outside of these general areas.

Letter From Savannah to John pg. 186-187:

This letter was sent to John from Savannah while he was in Iraq for the army. The letter stated that she had fallen in love with another man and that she was essentially breaking up with him. This broke John’s heart and changed his mood for the rest of the story. He was still in love with Savannah. This letter was significant to the book because it was the spark that thickened the plot for the rest of the story and created a feeling of unpredictability for the readers.

Relationship to his other book ‘The Notebook’:

The book ‘Dear John’ and ‘The Notebook’ both written by Nicholas Sparks are very similar. Both are love-stories and start out with them extremely in love with each other at a young age. Then in both books the girls find other love when the boys are sent off to the army. Also in ‘The Notebook’ and ‘Dear John the man’s fathers die and they take over something important to them such as the house to remodel and the coin collection respectively. This is significant because ‘The Notebook’ is a very well known novel and motion picture and since they are so similar it is possible to see the book ‘Dear John’ on the big screen and have it be a success. Also its significant because if they are similar it would attract some readers who enjoyed ‘The Notebook’ to read ‘Dear John’.

Internal Conflict with Savannah:

The internal conflict of Savannah is that she is in love with John but she is married to Tim. While John was away in Iraq she needed comfort to help her cope with John being away and Tim was there to console her. So when John came home and Savannah was married to Tim she still knew in her heart that she loved John more than Tim but she could not change anything especially while Tim was in the hospital for extreme medical problems and because of all he did for her while she was sad.

Relation of September 11 and the book

The September 11 attack was one of the major causes of the plot and significant events in the story. The event resulted in John leaving and essentially breaking him and Savannah up. Also having this in the story made it relatable to the audience because every individual has a feeling they get when the attack is brought up and it creates a personal mood for each reader.

Theme of your 1st love is never forgotten:

The theme of this book is that your 1st love is never forgotten. John and Savannah were so deeply in love and they shared so many special moments together. After John left to go back to Iraq the 1st time they stayed in love to the time he came back on leave. When he left again their love was still alive but it faded when Savannah became closer with Tim. But when John returned home once again to find Savannah married to Tim, when they saw each other they both realized that they were meant to be together.


The plot of this story is about John and Savannah and their relationship. They met during the summer while John was on leave for the army and they instantly fell in love. Also the story is about John and his growing relationship with his father. In the end John and Savannah suffer the consequences of trying to have a long-term relationship and they ended up not together. Also John loses his father during a heart attack. This book is about how John deals with the obstacles put in the way of his relationships.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Outside Reading Book Week 7 Post 2

My reaction to the book Dear John as a whole.

I thought that overall this book was very well written. It has a wide variety of sad and happy parts and also relaxing and climatic parts. In the end it is completely unexpected and quite sad. The main character John faces a lot of loss in this book including his father, his idea of safety in his country, and the love of his life. He overcomes many obstacles and the book does a really good job of writing parallel to the feelings John has. I think the book was somewhat boring at some points but it picked up again shortly after. The thing I liked best about the book was the fact that it was unpredictable and sometimes Savannah made me angry at the decisions she made. The thing I liked least about the book was that it was so sad at the end. I cried because John did nothing of the sort to deserve to lose his 2 pride and joys in his life. He moves on after the death of his father only to realize that he can’t have the Savannah, the one girl he will always love. And not only can he not have her but she is unhappy because her current husband is ill. John and Savannah both made it clear that they were in love with each other and it is a shame that they can’t do anything to be together. I feel just awful for the way John’s life turns out.

Outside Reading Book Week 7 Post 1

Dear John pgs. 222-276

  1. inconsolable pg 230: cannot be comforted
  2. Repressing pg 234: To put down by force

Figurative Language

  1. pg. 223 "...functional, unadorned white cabinets-thick with countless paint jobs-and a stainless-steal sink set beneath a wood-framed window that probably should have been replaced years ago." This is an example of imagery because its very intricately discribing the kitchen.
  2. pg. 238 "When the elevator doors closed, it felt as if I were in a tomb." This is an example of a similie because it is comparing how he felt to the inside of a tomb.
  3. pg 253 "In the morning, I watched the sun come up, a golden marble emerging fom the earth." This is a metaphor and imagery because its describing the sun but also giving it human like characteristics.

Significant Quote

pg. 229: "Tim knew I was in love with you...but he was there..." This quote is significant because it sums up the end of the book. It forshadows how much John loves Savannah but the fact that Tim was just always around and how he is now married to Savannah.

Emerging Theme

A theme I see emerging is loss. John lost both his father and the love of his life, not to mention the after affects of September 11 has created a loss of saftey for his country and his life while fighting in the army in Iraq and Germany.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Outside Reading Book Week 6 Post 2

"Did people really want to hear that I watched a guy in my unit accidentally shoot a little kid who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or that I'd seen soldiers get torn into pieces when they hit an IED-improvised explosive device- on the roads near Baghdada? Or that i'd seen blood pooling in the streets like rain, flowing past body parts? No, people would rather hear about sand..." pg. 193.

I think this quote is very powerful. And I believe that it is very true, people when thinking about war don't really understand the whole bad part about it. They know that it is bad and there are gory things that go along with war but nobody can really picture and experience what our soldiers do. Also the fact that this quote was said about Baghdad because it occurs after September 11 makes it even more real and powerful. It's not a made up war with made up places- it is a real life situation that soldiers are experiencing now. I think that our society needs to understand the real hardships of war and not just the sugar coated version.

Outside Reading Book Week 6 Post 1

pgs. 190-222

  1. Consummate: pg 191- To bring to a state of perfection
  2. Conifers: pg 213- trees or shrubs

Figurative Language

  1. pg. 191 " ...and decided to carry it with me like a wound I'd received in battle." This is an example of a similie because its comparing the note he is carrying with him to a wound he received.
  2. pg. 211 "Following a small highway that wound its way through blue-tipped mountains spreading morth and south, a gentle swell in the crust of the earth." This is an example of imagery details because it describes the setting intricately.
  3. pg. 217 "They say owning a horse is like living with an anchor." This is an example of a similie because it is comparing two opposite things together.

Significant Quote

"...but in the real world, in real time, decisions weren't always easy." pg. 192. This quote is significant because it is so true to our society and life in itself. Real life is not an easy thing to get through, there are many decisions you have to make despite the possible outcomes that may not be perfect.

Emerging Theme

The theme I see emerging from this part of the story is that you have to embrace the things you have because they won't be there forever.