Post #5: Symbolic Convergence (Fantasy Theme Analysis)

Rhetorical Situation

The Notebook is a movie that was released in 2004 and changed how people viewed love stories. It is set in the 1940s in South Carolina and features the two main characters, Noah Calhoun and Allie. They fall in love, but Allie’s parents do not approve of Noah due to his lack of wealth. Noah then goes to serve in World War 2 and it seems that this is the end of their love story but the couple reconnects many years later. It is a heart wrenching love story because of the obstacles the couple endures. It is also an interesting movie because the story is being told by Noah when he has grown very old. He is telling the story to Allie who no longer remembers the love story or him due to having a memory loss illness. 

Throughout the movie there are many quotable lines that are still around today but one that has stuck with me is the, “If you’re a bird, I am a bird” line. This was said when the couple was enjoying a day at the beach before Noah goes to war and they feel as though they are one in the same. It’s memorable because of the strong feelings of endearment behind it. This saying was brought up because, Allie, was talking about if she could have once been a bird in the past. She talks of reincarnation and she hopes that is a bird.

A Fantasy Theme Analysis 

The goal of doing a FTA is, “to identify, understand, and interpret those converged symbols” (Sellnow 110). This analysis is trying to dig deeper at how something like the say, “If you’re a bird, I am a bird” has stayed relevant and a symbol for a stronger meaning. This saying has allowed something like true love to stay light and positive and to be spoken of with catchy phrases. This line is also said by Noah which catches the audiences attention because it is the main male character showing strong emotions. It is him saying how powerful their love is. Along with being a strong indicator of the love he has, the saying has become humorous too. People on the internet claim how because of this movie they want to be a bird.


Although this movie is 16 years old this is still a very relevant piece of popular culture. It is considered a, “classic chic flick movie.” People turn to this movie when they want to feel the ups and downs of a love story and I do not think that the hype behind this movie will die down anytime soon.

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4 Responses to Post #5: Symbolic Convergence (Fantasy Theme Analysis)

  1. Miranda Mozingo says:

    Grace, this was an interesting artifact to me because I have never seen the film before. I really liked how you chose a line said by the main male character while he is showing emotions. Usually when something like this is said in any film it is the main female character saying it. This scene shows that men are just as capable of showing the same emotion as women. Personally I have never heard of the hype associated with this film, but that is probably because I had never heard of this film before reading your blog.

    • Grace Girdley says:

      I think that the hype generally does come from the fanbase that has seen the movie! I am surprised you have not seen it. I strongly recommend!

  2. Amber Thomas says:

    This is a really great example of a symbolic cue using a fantasy theme analysis. Something I wish I had included in my own post, and I think yours would benefit from as well, is an example of how the symbolic cue is used since the release of the movie. Attached is an image I found by simply googling the phrase “if you’re a bird I’m a bird”. I found tons of images of the same line from the movie in calligraphy and even tattoos (as shown). I also agree that I don’t think this movie and its following will be dying any time soon. It is still widely considered, as you noted, as a classic chick flick and it is played regularly on tv.

    • Grace Girdley says:

      Thank you so much for the image you attached! I think that is a great idea and if I write my second essay I will definitely use your suggestion.

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