Aspect of Family In the Movie – The Notebook


This paper focuses on assessing the aspect of family in one of the fifteen movies provided. The selected movie in this case is The Notebook, which involves a story of two teenage lovers who were separated by parents but later reunited and lived together. The paper focuses in the aspect of family unit featured in the movie. It contrasts and compares the behaviors and characteristics of family in the movie to assess the criteria that include family processes, family values, family socialization and family rearing, healthcare practices and beliefs, genogram, adaptation, ecomap, and comparison of the family unit with Beavers Systems Model. The paper begins with movie plot and ends with the analysis conclusion.

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Movie Setting and Story

Notebook is a movie that is based on modern love story rooted in the post- and pre- World War II era. It starts as a story where an old man reads a book to an old woman in a nursing home who is suffering from memory loss. The story involves a young girl; Allie, from a rich family who went to a holiday in their summer home when she was 17 years old and spend a great summer with a young man Noah. However, the girl’s parent are not in favor of the relationship and thus, they took the girl away and broke her contact with Noah. Noah tried his best to keep the contact but failed and he eventually decided to serve his country in war to forget Allie. After the war, he comes back and tried to restore the family farmhouse, and he appears in a news articles regarding the same, where Allie gets his contact and decided to visit, 14 years after their last contact.  At that time Allie had established a relation with another man, though she still considered Noah to be the love of his life. Despite being engaged to, she still decided to spend her life with Noah, and abandoned the other man. The two completed each other and enjoyed their life together. The movie therefore involves three main families that include the Noah’s family, Allie’s family and Lon’s family. Lon is the man that Allie is engaged to (Cassavetes, 2004).

Assessment of Movie Family

Family Processes

Allie comes from a rich family with high social status. She falls in love with Noah who is from a low social class. Based on Allie’s parents’ culture, Allie cannot be allowed to marry a man of lower social class than her. In this regard, the relationship is disregarded and Noah dismissed as trash.  The Allie’s parents’ takes her away to ensure that the two do not meet again. Allie’s mother Ann also intercepted any Noah’s attempt to communicate with Allie through letter by taking the letters before reaching Allie and hiding them.  This is a demonstration of the social class culture where by parents can go to any extend to maintain their social class. To Allie’s parents, love did not matter. They believed more in maintaining the social class rather than fulfilling their daughters love desires. Allie parent are even quick to approve Allie’s relation with Lon a lawyer who is also from a rich family. They do not bother to investigate whether their daughter is happy. All they care about is his qualification as a potential husband based on his social class. Having noted the importance of class to Allie’s parent Noah tries to uplift his social class after the war by buying and renovating a farm house. After this is done, Ann’s mother considered supporting the relation.

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The movie is set in war environment where most characters including Allie, Noah, Lon, and Fin who is Noah’s friend participated in the World War II in different ways. The environment is also hostile to Noah and Allie relationship. However, after the war, everything else settles down. The hostile environment gave Noah a chance to earn and prove his capability as Allie’s husband.

Communication is mostly done using letters at the start based on the fact that there were no modern communication technologies. Noah tried to keep his relation with Allie alive through letters. However, Ann could not let it happen. They are later reunited by a media print. Noah also communicated with Ann’s mother verbally and realized that she despised him. Ann also tried to pass her message to Noah through a friend. Separation affected communication greatly in this movie. The decision making power varies greatly in this movie. However, 14 years later Allie and Lon are able to communicate using a phone call, and Lon can easily trace Allie’s where  about with a phone.  At young age, Ann’s parent had an upper hand in decision making in the house and regarding Allie’s life. They decided to break Allie’s relationship with Noah and decided to end her holiday to ensure that they do not meet again. However, later on, Allie was able to make her decisions and to execute them. On the contrary, Noah’s decisions were highly respected by his family. They even sold their home to assist him in fulfilling his dream of buying and renovating the farm house. Ann’s parent had a role of protecting their daughter and ensuring that she made the right decisions in life. This is why Ann’s mother decided to leave the summer house before the holiday was over and to block Noah’s letter to reach Allie as a way of keeping them away from each other. Noah’s parents had a role of supporting their son to fulfill his dreams. Noah had a role of giving Allie a good life and he worked hard to fulfill it.

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Family Values

Allie’s family valued social class and wealth more than anything else in the world.  The family sacrificed its holiday to ensure that their daughter Allie did not interact and create relation with a poor man. The same incident also happened to Allie’s mother Ann, who was denied a chance to marry the man she loved because he was poor. This is a clear indication that the family values class.  Ann’s mother also accepts Noah only after he had uplifted his economic status. Noah on the other hand valued relationships and dreams. He loved Allie and he worked hard to meet the standards that would make him have her.  He natured his dreams and eventually managed to fulfill them by marrying Allie and living in the farmhouse he desired in his young age.

Socialization and Child Rearing

Ann family preferred socializing with people of their social class. They gave their daughter all she needed in terms of wealth and prevented her from making mistakes or being involved in people they considered would not benefit her. Noah’s believed in supporting their child to fulfill his dream while Allie’s family believed in making their child live their dream.

Healthcare Beliefs and Practices

Allie served as a nurse to the wounded soldiers. At their end of life, Allie and Noah were taken to the nursing home where they would obtain proper care that they needed in their old age. Thus, the families believed in good health and nurturing of those that arein poor health.


Allie’s family demonstrates a high level of adaptation. After she was separated with Noah, she was able to cope and accepted that she could not see him anymore. She even managed to take a job and to get into a relationship with another man. She was ready to move on, if she could not find Noah again. Ann made it easier for Allie to adapt to new changes by blocking the letters and supporting her engagement to Lon.  Noah on the other hand had a poor level of adaptation. He could not forget Allie, he even moved out of his home area as a way of running away from her ghosts. He did not get into any other relationship but instead, he tried to distract himself by joining the World War II soldiers.

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Beavers System Model

In the family structure, Allie mother had higher power to control her life. This power reduced with time and they later had closeness to the point that Ann supported Allie in her final decision to marry Noah. Noah family shared great closeness all through. In mythology Ann believed that her daughter could not have been married by a poor man, but Noah tried to attain self-actualization in a way convincing her otherwise. In Goal-directed negotiation, Noah was able to move from extremely in efficient to efficient by taking a career in military and using his earnings to improve his economic status, this made his dream of marrying Allie true. In autonomy, Allie and Noah were clear that they loved each other, but this faded as time passed, and Allie considered moving on.  However, Noah remained focused and ready to carry out his responsibility. He worked hard and eventually managed to make unresponsive Ann to be on his side. In family effect, Allie and Noah had a direct and clear expression of love. However, Ann demonstrated a clear expression of disapproval. Noah was still optimistic, but after staying for 14 years without hearing from Allie and after seeing her kiss with Lon, he lost hope. Nevertheless, Allie found him and cleared his doubt changing the entire situation for both Noah and Lon; Noah in a positive way and Lon in a negative way. Noah and Allie were able to spend their life together with great happiness (Beavers&Hampson, 2000).


The story starts with a happy beginning between Noah ad Allie, which later transforms to impossible situation and then loss of hope. The two lovers tried to move on and to forget the past. Although they all seemed to have forgotten the past, they still held it dearly to their heart. However, when they got a chance, they both rekindled what they had buried in their heart and restarted their life. They lived their dream by having a happy family. They grew old together and maintained their love to the end.

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