A Walk To Remember


Prologue to Chapter 4


The narrator sets the time and place for the novel. He reveals that his entire life changed when he was 17 years old and that people wonder what could have possibly happened to him at such an early age to so affect his future. He also reveals that 40 years have passed since then (which would place him at 57).

The narrator also suggests that his story involves all of the lives of everyone in the neighborhood. However, he admits that he alone is closest to the story and can remember all of the details of it even now, nearly half a century later. It is a story full of sadness and joy, and one cannot be excluded without losing the other.

He states that the date is April 12, “in the last year before the millennium,” and that he is walking down the street outside of his house. As he walks, he observes that the sky is gray, but soon he notices the flowers blooming. The change from grayness to life and color reflects the movement in his mind from the present to the past. The past is what is most colorful for him. However, it is a journey through the memory for which one must also brace, and he shows this by zipping his jacket, fortifying himself against the elements.

He is in North Carolina. The past returns to him. He feels younger. He sees the present-day modern world disappear and the suburban sprawl turn into farmland. He finds himself standing outside of the Baptist church, and in his mind he is 17 once more. His name, he tells us, is Landon Carter.

The prologue ends with Landon asserting that this is his story and that he will leave nothing out. By way of teasing the reader, he also insists that it will be an emotional story, one which will cause the reader first to laugh, then to cry.

The type of story the author has just introduced is one designed to appeal to the sentimental. It invokes feelings of nostalgia, specifically of the 1950s (a nostalgic time for many Americans). It presents itself as a story of tenderness and promises the reader that it will be, if nothing else, an...

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