A Walk To Remember Landon Carter Descriptive Essay
A Walk to Remember is a novel by American writer Nicholas Sparks, released in October 1999. The novel, set in 1958–1959 in Beaufort, North Carolina, is a story of two teenagers who fall in love with each other despite the disparity of their personalities. A Walk to Remember is adapted in the film of the same name.
Sparks wrote the manuscripts for A Walk to Remember, his third novel, in the summer of 1999. He wrote it in North Carolina, which is the setting of the novel. Like his first published novel The Notebook, the prologue to A Walk to Remember was written last. The title A Walk to Remember was taken from one of the tail end pages of the novel: "In every way, a walk to remember." The novel is written in first-person, and its narrator is a seventeen-year-old boy, living in the 1950s.
The novel was inspired by Sparks' sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who later died of cancer in June 2000. Although the story is largely fictional, certain parts were based on real experiences. For example, his sister, just like Jamie, was never popular at school and always wore an ugly sweater. And just like Jamie, she always carried the Bible around with her every where she went. And just like Landon and Jamie, never in a thousand years did anyone think someone would ever deeply fall head-over-heels for her. His sister's husband proposed marriage to her despite her sickness. After her death, Sparks said in the eulogy: "...I suppose I wrote this novel not only so that you could get to know my sister, but so that you would know what a wonderful thing it was that her husband once did for her."
The story starts with a prologue from Landon Carter at age 57. The remainder of the story takes place when Landon is a 17-year-old high school senior. Landon lives in the small, religious town of Beaufort, North Carolina. His father is a genial, charismatic congressman.
His father is not around very much, as he lives in Washington, D.C. Landon is more reclusive, which causes some tension in their relationship. Landon's father pressures him into running for class president. His best friend, Eric Hunter, who is the most popular boy in school, helps him and, to his surprise, Landon wins the election. As student body president, Landon is required to attend the school dance with a date. He asks many girls, but none are available. That night, he looks through his yearbook, trying to find an acceptable date. Since nobody else seems to be available, Landon reluctantly asks Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of Hegbert Sullivan, the Beaufort church minister, who accepts his invitation. While Jamie is very religious and carries a Bible with her wherever she goes, Landon (one of the popular students) is reluctant to go to the dance with someone like her. When Landon is threatened by Lew, Jamie comes to Landon's aid, to his appreciation. At the end of the night, he admits she was the best date possible.
A few days later, Jamie asks Landon to participate in the school's production of The Christmas Angel. While Landon is not very enthusiastic about participating, he agrees to it anyway. Jamie, on the other hand, could not be happier about her new castmate. Landon knows that if his friends learn about his role in the play, he will be teased relentlessly. One day at rehearsal, Jamie asks if Landon will walk her home, after which it becomes routine. A couple of days later, Eric mocks the couple during their walk home and Landon becomes truly embarrassed to be with Jamie. Meanwhile, Landon continues to learn about all the people and organizations Jamie spends her time helping, including an orphanage. Landon and Jamie visit the orphanage one day to discuss a possible showing of The Christmas Angel, but their proposal is quickly rejected by Mr. Jenkins. When Jamie and Landon were waiting to meet Mr. Jenkins, she tells Landon that all she wants in the future is to get married in a church full of people and to have her father walk her down the aisle. While Landon thinks this is a strange wish, he accepts it. In truth, he is beginning to enjoy his time with her.
One day, while they are walking home, Landon yells at Jamie and he tells her that he is not friends with her. The next day at the first show of The Christmas Angel, Jamie enters the stage dressed as the angel, making Landon simply utter his line, "You're beautiful", meaning it for the first time. Following that, Jamie asks Landon if he would go around town and retrieve the jars containing money collected for the orphans' Christmas presents. When Landon collects the jars, there is only $55.73, but when he gives the money to Jamie, there is $247. Jamie buys gifts for the orphanage, and Landon and Jamie spend Christmas Eve there. Jamie's Christmas gift to Landon is her deceased mother's Bible. As they get in the car to go home, Landon realizes his true feelings for her. "All I could do is wonder how I'd ever fallen in love with a girl like Jamie Sullivan". He invites her to his house for Christmas dinner. The next day Landon visits Jamie at her house, where they share their first kiss on her porch. Afterward, Landon asks Hegbert if they can go to Flavin's, a local restaurant, on New Year's Eve. While Hegbert initially refuses, after Landon declares his love for Jamie, Hegbert allows it.
On New Year's Jamie and Landon go to dinner, where they share their first dance. A couple of weeks later, Landon tells Jamie that he is in love with her. To his surprise, Jamie replies by insisting that he cannot be. In response, Landon demands an explanation, and Jamie reveals that she is dying of leukemia.
The following Sunday, Hegbert announces to his congregation that his daughter is dying. Jamie does not return to school the following Monday and that it is eventually learned that she is too ill and will never return to school. While they are having dinner at Landon's house, Jamie tells Landon, "I love you, too", for the first time. A couple weeks later, Eric and Margaret visit Jamie's house, where they apologize for ever being rude to her. Eric gives Jamie the $400 that he collected for the orphanage. Jamie refuses to stay at the hospital, because she wants to die at home. In turn, Landon's father helps to provide Jamie the best equipment and doctors so she can spend the rest of her life at home. This gesture helps to mend the gap between father and son. One day, while sitting next to Jamie while she sleeps, Landon comes up with an idea. He runs to the church to find Hegbert and asks him for permission to marry Jamie. While Hegbert is reluctant, his refusal to deny Landon's request is seen by Landon as approval. Landon runs back to Jamie's side and asks, "Will you marry me?"
Landon and Jamie are married in a church full of people. Although she was weak and was in a wheelchair, she insisted on walking down the aisle so that her father could give her away which was part of her dream. Landon remembers thinking "It was...the most difficult walk anyone ever had to make. In every way, a walk to remember". When they reach the front of the church, Hegbert says, "I can no more give Jamie away than I can give away my heart. But what I can do is let another share in the joy that she has always given me". Hegbert has had to experience so much pain in his life, first losing his wife, now knowing his only child will soon be gone, too. The book ends with Landon 40 years later at age 57. He still loves Jamie and wears her ring. He finishes the story by saying, "I now believe, by the way, that miracles can happen".
- Landon Carter is a son of a rich family, the narrator of the novel.
- Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of the Beaufort church minister Hegbert Sullivan. She is very religious, sweet, and kind.
- Mr. Carter is the father of Landon Carter. He is a congressman in North Carolina and is gone nine months out of the year because he lives in Washington D.C.
- Mrs. Carter is the mother of Landon Carter. "She [is] a nice lady, sweet and gentle."
- Hegbert Sullivan is Jamie's father. He is the Beaufort church minister. His wife died shortly after giving birth to Jamie. He is very old with "translucent skin"; he is often crabby but his daughter describes him as having "a good sense of humor". He wrote the local play, The Christmas Angel but he maintains a strong dislike for Mr. Carter due to his father's choices.
- Angela Clark is the first girlfriend of Landon and then begins dating Lew.
- Carey Denison is the treasurer at Landon's high school as well as a tuba player. He is unproportional, with short arms, a large stomach, and a squeaky voice.
- Lew is Angela Clark's boyfriend, who "[is] twenty years old and [works] as a mechanic" and "always [wears] a white T-shirt with a pack of Camels folded into the sleeve".
- Miss Garber is the drama teacher at Landon's high-school. "She [is] big, at least 6'2", with flaming red hair and pale skin that [shows] her freckles well into her forties." Her favorite word is marvelous.
- Eric Hunter is Landon's best friend, who does more making fun, than being an actual friend. The popular jock at school, he starts out very crude, but when tragedy strikes his longtime friend, he shows that he is sympathetic.
- Eddie Jones is not well liked by the drama department. He was scheduled to play the main character in the play, but is demoted to the "bum" when Landon steps in. He is extremely apathetic.
- Jamie's dead mother is a minor role. Described as "a wispy little thing", she died while giving birth to Jamie, and is greatly missed by Hegbert and Jamie.
- Margaret, a cheerleader, is Eric's girlfriend.
The novel was published in the fall of October 1999 in hardcover print, and later in paperback edition. It spent nearly six months in the best-seller list on hardcover, and an additional four months on paperback.
The novel received mixed reviews from critics. The Sunday New York Post holds that it "never fails to be interesting, touching, at times riveting ... a book you won't soon forget".African Sun Times echoes the former's comments, saying, "A remarkable love story that, like its predecessors, will touch the hearts of readers everywhere."New York Daily News compliments Sparks, commenting that he "has written a sweet tale of young but everlasting love, and though he's told us to expect both joy and sadness, the tears will still come". Clarissa Cruz of Entertainment Weekly, however, panned the novel, saying, "With its cliche-riddled prose and plot twists that can be predicted after skimming the prologue, Nicholas Sparks' latest, A Walk To Remember, reads more like the script for a bad after-school special than anything approaching literature." Although the novel is number 12 on their list of 1999 Bestsellers Fiction,Publishers Weekly described it as "a forced coming of age story" and "the author's most simple, formulaic, and blatantly melodramatic package to date". Theresea Parks from Publishers Weekly goes on to say how many will be disappointed stating, "Readers may be frusturated with the invariable formula that Sparks seems to regurgitate with regularity". She also writes that it is especially similar to The Notebook in its "corny flashback device that mimics The Notebook". Overall, Publishers Weekly expressed its disappointment.
A Walk to Remember was adapted in the film of the same name, becoming Sparks' second novel adapted to the big screen after Message in a Bottle in 1999. Sparks sold the film rights to Warner Bros. in December 1998, months before the publication of the novel. The movie was directed by Adam Shankman and produced by Denise DiNovi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros.; the film premiered on January 25, 2002.
The film, starring singer and actress Mandy Moore (Jamie) and Shane West (Landon), is set in the late 1990s. Sparks and the producer thought that because the film was suitable for teenagers "because of the message it provided", they had to make the adaptation more contemporary.
- Sparks, Nicholas. A Walk to Remember. Warner Books: New York, 1999. ISBN 0-446-52553-7.
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For the book, see A Walk to Remember (novel).
A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-ageromanticdrama film directed by Adam Shankman and written by Karen Janszen, based on Nicholas Sparks' 1999 novel A Walk to Remember. The film stars Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote and Daryl Hannah, and was produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros. Pictures.
In Beaufort, North Carolina, popular and rebellious teenager Landon Carter and his friends have been found of underage drinking on school grounds and seriously injuring another student during a prank gone wrong. The principal gives Landon the choice of being expelled or atoning for his actions by tutoring fellow students and participating in the school play. Choosing and doing the latter, Landon notices Jamie Sullivan, who he has known since kindergarten and is the local minister's daughter. He has seldom paid any attention to her, as she is labeled as an outsider and a geek because of her interest in astronomy.
Landon has trouble learning his lines for the play, so Jamie, who is also in the play, agrees to help him on one condition: for him to not fall in love with her, and he laughs it off and dismisses it as a foolish idea. They begin practicing together at her house after school, but Landon remains wary of ruining his image by being friendly with an outsider like her. At one point he makes the insulting suggestion that they be "secret friends", and Jamie's hurt but mature response embarrasses Landon. He then stops being dismissive of Jamie and treats her like a friend. They get to know each other and a spark of romance buds between them.
On the opening night of the play, Jamie astounds Landon and the audience with her voice and beauty. When Jamie finishes singing towards the end, Landon kisses her, which is not a part of the play. Afterwards, Jamie avoids Landon until his friends play a cruel prank on her. In opposition to his friends, he protects her and she eventually warms up to him again. Landon asks Jamie on a date, but Jamie says her father will not let her date. Landon asks her father for permission, bringing up that he is looking for a chance at redemption with her and at life through her. Jamie's father is initially hesitant but agrees.
On their first date, Landon helps Jamie to fulfill her list of things she wants to achieve in life. On another date, where Jamie is silent and unfocused, she confesses she isn't making any plans for the future because she has leukemia and hasn't been responding to treatment. A desperate Landon asks for his father's help in curing her, but is disappointed by his reply and takes a long drive home thinking about Jamie. Landon's friends become aware of the tragedy looming, and give him their support. Jamie's condition grows worse and gets sent to the hospital. While there, Jamie gives Landon a book that once belonged to her deceased mother and says that maybe God sent Landon to her to help her through the rough times and that Landon is her angel. Unbeknownst to Landon, Jamie is given private home care by Landon's estranged father to relieve her father's financial burden. Landon visits his dad, tearfully thanking him for his help, embracing and reuniting.
Landon builds a telescope for Jamie to see a one-time comet in the springtime. Jamie's father helps him get it finished in time and it is brought to her on the balcony where she gets a beautiful view of the comet. It is then that Landon asks her to marry him. Jamie tearfully accepts, and they get married in the church where her mother got married. They spend their last summer together filled with strong love. Jamie's leukemia ends up killing her when summer ends.
Four years later, Landon has finished college and been accepted into medical school. He visits Reverend Sullivan to return Jamie’s precious book. Landon apologizes to the Reverend for Jamie not witnessing a miracle, but the Reverend disagrees saying that in fact she did and that her miracle was Landon. Landon visits the docks contemplating the belief that although Jamie is dead, she is with him. It is then he understands love is like the wind; you can't see it, but you can feel it.
The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks' sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000. In a speech he gave after her death in Berlin, the author admits that "In many ways, Jamie Sullivan was my younger sister". The plot was inspired by her life; Danielle met a man who wanted to marry her, "even when he knew she was sick, even when he knew that she might not make it". Both the book and film are dedicated to Danielle Sparks Lewis.
It was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the same time that Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) and the TV show Dawson's Creek were being filmed there. Many of the sets were from Dawson's Creek (1998) – particularly the school, hospital and Landon's home. The total shooting time was only 39 days, despite Moore being able to only work 10 hours a day because she was a minor.Daryl Hannah, who wore a brown wig as her character, had received a collagen injection in her lips, which went awry and caused noticeable swelling. By the end of filming, however, the symptoms were less obvious.
Director Shankman wanted the lead characters to be portrayed by young actors: "I wanted young actors with whom teenagers could connect", he said. Shankman arranged a meeting with Shane West after he saw him in a magazine. He was looking for someone who could transition from being very dark to very light. He described his choice as "an instinct" he had about West, who would appear in almost every scene and had "to be either incredibly angry and self-hating or madly in love and heroic." West said: "I don't generally read love stories, but after reading the screenplay, I knew I couldn't wait to read the book so I could truly understand Nicholas Sparks' story and how he envisioned the character of Landon. It's a beautiful story and the characters are very believable, which is what attracted me to the project.
Shankman said of Moore that she "has the voice and the face of an angel" and added that she is luminous. Moore explained that she was moved by the book: "I had such a visceral reaction to it that I remember not being able to read because I was almost hyperventilating while I was crying." Commenting on the film, she said: "It was my first movie and I know people say it may be cliche and it's a tearjerker or it's cheesy, but for me, it's the thing I'm most proud of."
Comparisons to novel
While there are many similarities to the novel by Nicholas Sparks, many changes were made. On his personal website, Sparks explains the decisions behind the differences. For example, he and the producer decided to update the setting from the 1950s to the 1990s, worrying that a film set in the 50s would fail to draw teens. "To interest them," he writes, "we had to make the story more contemporary." To make the update believable, Landon's pranks and behavior are worse than they are in the novel; as Sparks notes, "the things that teen boys did in the 1950s to be considered a little 'rough' are different than what teen boys in the 1990s do to be considered 'rough.'"
Sparks and the producer also changed the play in which Landon and Jamie appear. In the novel, Hegbert wrote a Christmas play that illustrated how he once struggled as a father. However, due to time constraints, the sub-plot showing how he overcame his struggles could not be included in the film. Sparks was concerned that "people who hadn't read the book would question whether Hegbert was a good father", adding that "because he is a good father and we didn't want that question to linger, we changed the play."
A significant difference is that at the end of the novel, unlike the film, it is ambiguous whether Jamie died. Sparks says that he had written the book knowing she would die, yet had "grown to love Jamie Sullivan", and so opted for "the solution that best described the exact feeling I had with regard to my sister at that point: namely, that I hoped she would live."
The film's soundtrack was released by Moore's first label Epic Records and Sony Music Soundtrax on January 15, 2002. It features six songs by Moore and others by acts Switchfoot, Rachael Lampa and many more.
The lead single "Cry" was originally released on Moore's self-titled third studio album in 2001. The soundtrack also includes two versions of Switchfoot's song "Only Hope" including the version Moore sang in the film.
Moore's manager, Jon Leshay, the musical supervisor for the film, "instantly wanted" Switchfoot's music to be a vital part of the film after hearing them. He later became Switchfoot's manager. When they were approached to do the film, the band was unfamiliar with Moore or her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Before their involvement with A Walk to Remember, Switchfoot was only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles, but have since gained mainstream recognition, with their double platinum fourth album, The Beautiful Letdown (2003) which included hits such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move".
The soundtrack was re-released on October 21, 2003 as a special expanded edition and featured three songs that were not originally included on the first release of the soundtrack but were featured in the film. The song "Only Hope" by Moore had dialogue added that featuring Shane West as his character Landon Carter taken from the scene from where the song is featured in the film, as well as West's narration at the end of the film.
|1.||"Dare You to Move"||Switchfoot||4:09|
|3.||"Someday We'll Know" (cover of New Radicals)||Moore and Foreman||3:52|
|4.||"Dancin' in the Moonlight" (cover of King Harvest)||Toploader||3:52|
|5.||"Learning to Breathe"||Switchfoot||4:36|
|6.||"Only Hope" (cover of Switchfoot)||Moore as Jamie Sullivan with dialogue by Shane West as Landon Carter||3:53|
|7.||"It's Gonna Be Love"||Moore||3:51|
|9.||"If You Believe"||Rachael Lampa||3:49|
|11.||"So What Does It All Mean?"||West, Gould, & Fitzgerald||3:00|
|12.||"Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough"||New Radicals||5:45|
|13.||"Cannonball" (2003 Special Expanded Edition bonus track)||The Breeders||3:37|
|14.||"Friday on My Mind" (2003 Special Expanded Edition bonus track)||Noogie||3:14|
|15.||"Empty Spaces" (2003 Special Expanded Edition bonus track)||Fuel||3:26|
|17.||"Cry" (Music Video) (Multi-media track)||Moore||3:41|
A Walk to Remember grossed $41,281,092 in North America and $6,213,824 in other territories for a worldwide total of $47,494,916.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12,177,488, finishing third at the box office behind Black Hawk Down ($17,012,268) and Snow Dogs ($13,079,373).
The film was met with generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 27% based on reviews from 103, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 10. The site's critical consensus is: "Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy."Metacritic, another review aggregator which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 35, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "generally unfavorable".Entertainment Weekly retitled the film "A Walk to Forget". In 2010, Time named it one of the 10 worst chick flicks ever made.
The film found a warmer reception with the general public, particularly in the Christian community due to the film's moral values; as one reviewer from Christianity Today approvingly noted, "The main character is portrayed as a Christian without being psychopathic or holier-than-thou".Chicago Sun-Times' film critic Roger Ebert praised Moore and West for their "quietly convincing" acting performances. The Chicago Reader felt that the story "has a fair amount of nuance and charm". The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Octavio Roca found the film "entertaining" and wrote: "The picture is shamelessly manipulative, but in the best melodramatic sense." S. Williams of Momzone magazine felt that the movie was "everything a chick flick should be" and praised Shankman's direction. Us Weekly deemed it one of the 30 most romantic movies of all time.
A Walk to Remember was released by Warner Home Video on DVD on July 9, 2002. The DVD contains two commentaries (one featuring Shane West, Mandy Moore, and director Adam Shankman; the second featuring screenwriter Karen Janszen and author Nicholas Sparks), the music video for Moore's single "Cry", and the film's theatrical trailer. A "Family-Edited Version" was later released on December 24, 2002.
In other media
In the HBO television series Entourage, the character of Vincent Chase was credited as having a small supporting role in the film. In the fictional Entourage universe, Chase has an on-set relationship with Moore during the filming of A Walk to Remember.
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