Other elements that are present in this novel are symbols and metaphors. Symbols
are the use of some unrelated idea to represent something else. Metaphors
are direct comparisons made between characters and ideas. There are many
symbols and metaphors used by the author such as:
1.) When Jamie sits on the floor at the orphanage on Christmas Eve with a
sleeping child on her lap, she is symbolic of the Virgin Mary and the
2.) Jamie's mother's Bible symbolizes her innate goodness and the piece of
herself she gives to Landon.
3.) The simultaneous moon rise and sunset on Bogue Island which Landon takes Jamie to see symbolizes their love and the beauty of a life well-lived.
4.) The card drawn by Roger showing a bird soaring above a rainbow symbolizes
Jamie's slow rising to God.
5.) Jamie's walk down the aisle, a walk to remember, symbolizes her strength and her love that is returned tenfold by all those who watch her meet the man she loves.
6.) The walk to remember is literally Jamie's walk down the aisle to marry
Landon, but it is also a metaphor for the journeys we all must take in
life to give our lives meaning. Jamie teaches this to all the characters
and to the reader as well.
A Walk to Remember
Meaning of the Title
It refers first to the walk Jamie Sullivan makes down the aisle to marry Landon, in spite of the fact that she is so gravely
ill. With her own personal strength and the desire to fulfill her love, she makes the longest walk anyone could ever make. The title also refers to the metaphorical walk we all make trying to find the right way to live our lives. Finally, it also refers to the way Landon Carter came of age to become a wonderful man, because of Jamie's love for him.
Beaufort, North Carolina in 1958 and 1959.
Landon Carter, who comes of age under the influence of a strange, but wonderful young girl.
The greatest antagonist is Landon's inner being against which he fights to change and become a better person. 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.
At times, the mood is tragic, filled with despair, and very sad; at other times, it is uplifting and hopeful; finally, it is a triumphant commentary on the human spirit.
Point of View
First person (Landon is telling the reader the story of the events between him and Jamie Sullivan in Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1958 and 1959.)
This story is written in the past tense since Landon tells it in flashback.
It occurs from the beginning of the novel when Landon begins to relate how he came to fall in love with Jamie Sullivan until she tells him she is dying of cancer.
Landon Carter is a seventeen year-old boy who is drifting aimlessly, unsure where his life is leading him. He lacks compassion for the plight of others and looks inwardly more than outwardly. Because of a request from Jamie Sullivan, he accepts the lead role in The Christmas Angel, a play her father had written years before. From that moment, his life is inexorably bound up with hers, and he slowly learns what it means to be a good, decent person as he falls in love with her. Eventually, he learns Jamie is dying of leukemia and Landon must come to terms not only with her death, but also with what kind of person he wants to be. In the end, he fulfills her greatest wish and marries her, but leaves us with the question of whether the miracle he had prayed for had ultimately come true.
Jamie tells Landon that he can't love her, because she is dying.
Landon and Jamie are married, fulfilling her greatest wish to walk down the aisle with her father and marry the man she loves in front of all their friends and family. However, the author's final paragraph makes us wonder whether Landon's prayer that a miracle would happen actually resulted in Jamie's cure or whether the miracle was more just the good she leaves behind.
Love conquers all; God's Plan; Superficiality and judgment based on appearances; How we influence each other; How we all have the capacity to change; and Faith.