Summary and Analysis
Swans and Storms
Noah's surprise is a small lake that is filled with Tundra swan and Canada geese. They sit in silence for a while, admiring the beauty and splendor of nature. Allie feeds some of them bread, and the moment is only ended by the sound of thunder in the distance. Although Noah paddles quickly, they are unable to beat the rain back to Noah's house, and by the time they arrive, they are soaked. Allie puts on some of Noah's clothes.
Allie watches Noah stoke the fire. They share a drink in front of the warmth, rekindling the logs as well as their love. Noah admits to Allie that she was his first love as well as his first lover. Allie admits that she wrote Noah letters but never mailed them. Noah then admits to Allie that he loves her — not the memory of her but the Allie of here and now. After his profession of love, Allie tells Noah that she has never physically been with another man. After a few more memories, they succumb to their passion, to their love. Noah and Allie spend the day together, making love, and rediscovering each other all over again.
The title of the chapter is a juxtaposition of beauty and violence. A swan is also highly symbolic. Often swans are associated with divine inspiration, as well as beauty and creativity. According to legend, swans also mate for life. The committed love that Noah has had for Allie as well as Allie's lack of sexual intimacy with another man indicate that they have both, in a sense, mated for life with one another.
Although storms are violently powerful, Allie claims they have always seemed "romantic" to her. This comment is the closest readers have seen Allie wanting to initiate and act on the romantic relationship she previously had with Noah. The previous night, she was unwilling and unable to allow Noah to even attempt a kiss goodnight. Now, after an honest sharing of emotions, she is both willing and able to re-consummate their relationship. The emotional connection precedes the physical, which is important for it demonstrates that this feeling is not just a sexual attraction and sexual compatibility that two have. The sex scenes are neither graphic nor gratuitous; rather, they are truly the description of a couple making love, expressing physically the deep emotional and spiritual connection that they share. Fourteen years ago, when they were saying their goodbyes, Noah slipped Allie a note containing the words, "our souls are connected." He also mentioned finding each other again. At the time, neither of them could have imagined a reunion as perfect as this.
While they are discussing their past, Noah simply states, "I wish you could have read the letters I wrote you." This line is not only a realistic part of their dialogue, but also it is a bit of foreshadowing. And the penultimate paragraph of the chapter not only foreshadows the rest of the book, it contains Noah's profession of love, one of the most direct statements of feelings in The Notebook.
Noah tells Allie, "You are the answer to every prayer I've offered . . . I don't know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have. I love you, Allie . . . I always have, and I always will." These lines connect the thematic topics of religion, faith, fate, free will, and spirituality, leaving both Allie and readers speechless.
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