The movie The Notebook is based upon the love story between Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun. Allie comes from an upper class white family who does not approve of her relationship with Noah because he is a lower class citizen and he works in a lumberyard. After their summer romance, Allie’s parents inform her that they are moving away and she is forced to end their relationship. After she moves, Noah writes her a letter every day for one year, but because her mother did not approve of the relationship, she intercepted the letters and never gave them to Allie. Years later, Allie meets Lon Hammond who ends up proposing, and Allie accepts. During her engagement with Lon she goes back to her hometown to visit Noah. During her stay they realize they are still madly in love and Allie then has to make a decision between Noah and her fiancé.
The first ethical issue in this film is Allie’s parents prejudging Noah and deciding that he is not good enough for their daughter solely based upon his economic status. The Hamilton’s make little to no effort to get to know Noah as a person, instead they immediately decide that he is not worthy of Allie when they see how he dresses and find out what he does for a living. Although they can clearly see that their daughter is in love, their want to uphold their own status outweighed that. This ethical issue also represents the “jumping to conclusions” fallacy. Before knowing Noah’s character, the Hamilton’s make the assumption that he is not good enough for Allie because they believe he cannot provide her with the things she wants and needs. When Lon Hammond comes along later in the film, the Hamilton’s are thrilled to find out that Lon is a sophisticated lawyer. In their minds, that is what their daughter “needs”.
The clip above shows Allie’s mother telling her that Noah is “trash” and not good enough for her. Another fallacy I noticed in the clip is the slippery slope fallacy. Allie’s mother states, “I did not spend seventeen years of my life raising a daughter and giving her everything so she could throw it away on a summer romance. She will wind up with her heartbroken or pregnant.” Just because she is in love and involved with a boy does not mean that she will end up heartbroken or pregnant. Her mother is taking the situation to the extreme and stating that if she continues the romance with Noah, bad things will happen.
The second ethical issue presented in the film takes place when Allie leaves Lon to “get away” for a while, and goes back to South Carolina to meet with Noah and it is there that the romance begins again. Many would say that it was extremely wrong of Allie to not only make the decision to go see Noah, but also to continue her romance with him while she was engaged to another man. Adultery is considered to be morally wrong and I would have to agree. Although the love between Allie and Noah is evident in the film, the choice to begin their relationship again should not have been made while she was still in a relationship with another man.
I personally loved the film and I have probably seen it a hundred times. Although I don’t agree with some of the decisions that were made, it made for an excellent movie. I think it was wrong of the Hamilton’s to not approve of Noah dating their daughter because it was clear that he treated her very well. His wealth did not play a role in how they felt about each other or how they treated one another. Allie’s decision to go back to Noah was very predictable but the fact that she went back to him while still being engaged to Lon added a lot of shock effect to the film. That’s not necessarily a choice I personally would have made, but it made for a good movie.