A Walk To Remember


Points to Ponder

1. Beaufort is the perfect example of 1950s small-town America. How does the novel appeal to the modern reader’s sense of nostalgia and make Beaufort seem like a place that has been lost to the modern world?

Landon, looking back on events from the “present day,” first draws attention to how things have changed in Beaufort since the 1950s by pointing out how urban sprawl has replaced farmland and how back when he was young, television did not figure regularly into any of their lives. Sparks describes the town as a place where young people were still innocent, where their mischief was no worse than sneaking out to eat boiled peanuts or soap up car windows. It is a place without malice—for the most part. There is the briefly described account of Landon’s grandfather, a greedy monopolist. Still, Landon’s grandfather is more like the exception than the rule.

In this way, the novel appeals to the reader’s nostalgia, making the 1950s seem as though it were a purer time, a time when imaginations still thrived, when kids had all of their fun outdoors (rather than on a computer), and when manners and politeness still mattered and counted for something.

The fact that the entire story is told in retrospect from the modern day gives the reader the sense that he is traveling through time to a kind of magical world preserved somehow from the effects of change. It is as though this world exists only in the memory now. Indeed, the brief description of the modern Beaufort in the prologue provides ample evidence that the old Beaufort of the 1950s has disappeared completely. The only thing that seems to remain is the Baptist church. Aged Landon, however, does not dwell on the church or speak of Hegbert (likely dead by now). Instead, he drifts back into the recesses of his mind to find that place now seemingly buried in the ground with the girl he loved and still loves.

2. Why are the gifts that Landon and Jamie give to one another so meaningful?

Landon’s gift to Jamie...

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Essays About A Walk To Remember