The protagonist of a story is the main character who traditionally undergoes some sort of change. He or she must usually overcome some opposing force. In this novel, the protagonist is Landon Carter who tells his story in the same manner as one might hear a bildungsroman, or the story of a young man's coming of age. Although this simple story cannot be truly labeled this way, it nonetheless is one in which we learn how Landon changes and becomes a true man in the seventeenth year of his life.


The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonist does not always have to be a single character or even a character at all. The antagonist is really Landon, also, because he is at war with himself and wants to find who he is and who he wants to be. It is Jamie who helps him find the real man inside of himself, the man who can be kind and gentle and compassionate and who might never have found himself without her. Perhaps another antagonist could also be Death, the end we all must face, and because we face it, we must learn to live a worthwhile life.


The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The climax of the story occurs when Jamie finally reveals her secret: she is dying of leukemia.


The outcome, resolution, or denouement of this plot is somewhat vague. We know that Landon finds the answer he has been seeking and proposes to Jamie. She makes her walk to remember down the aisle and they marry exactly in the way she had always dreamed. However, the final sentence when Landon tells us that there's one thing he still hasn't told us: he now believes that miracles can happen, we must, based on our own inclinations or the way we want to interpret the story, come either to the conclusion that Jamie has died or, by the miracle Landon had been praying for, lived.


Landon Carter, a 57 year-old man from Beaufort, North Carolina, narrates the story of his seventeenth year, the year that changed his life. He tells the reader how he takes part in the Christmas play at the urging of a strange girl he had known and teased for being different all his life. Her name is Jamie Sullivan and she is the deeply religious daughter of the local Baptist minister, who has himself been the object of ridicule over the years. Through his experiences with her during the play and other times that Jamie impacts on his life, Landon falls in love with her, only to discover that she is dying of cancer. In the seven months that he spends with her, he becomes a different young man forever.


Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".