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A Man's Voice in Girls' Worlds: Analyzing Nicholas Sparks and His Impact on Girls

G104 Spring 2010 Final Project
by

Heather Schaefer

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of A Man's Voice in Girls' Worlds: Analyzing Nicholas Sparks and His Impact on Girls

A man's voice in girls' worlds: Analyzing Nicholas Sparks and His Impact on Girls the big question How do Nicholas Sparks's creations affect girls and girl culture? "Wow! Where do I even begin? Your books have had such a huge impact on my life. I am only seventeen years young and I admit I do not really like to read. Reading your books though, seems like a second nature, it is almost as easy as breathing. I love your books...." - posted by brier-ashley bowlin on 4.15.2010 on Nicholas Sparks' Official Website message board the background of nicholas sparks
sparks's success sparks's inspirations behind sparks's writing Dear john book: 2006 / movie: 2010 Born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska
Devout Catholic
Graduated from University of Notre Dame, where he was on a track scholarship
Currently lives in New Bern, North Carolina, with his wife and five kids
Named "Sexiest Author" by People magazine
Popular novels published:



The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, The Last Song, The Lucky One Number of books #1 on USA TODAY'S Best-Selling Books List:

Numbers of copies in print of Sparks's books in the U.S.:

Number of books made into movies:

Total U.S. box office take:


8 61 million 6 $294 million Direct childhood family
Wife
Wife's grandparents
Children
Religion

Who sparks writes for Began writing for older women


Now also targeting younger girls


Dear John, The Last Song The Notebook, Nights of Rodanthe "Love stories," not "romances"

Normal, imperfect characters doing regular things and dealing with internal conflicts
Characters fall in love in normal settings, yet through divine interventions
Sparks relies on instinct to create novels "I think, above all, the characters in my novels feel universal to the readers... And these characters are by no means perfect, but when the going gets rough, they do the right thing. People want to say, 'I would do that.'" - Sparks "You read a romance because you know what to expect. You read a love story because you don't know what to expect." - Sparks casting and production decisions Dear John Channing Tatum was cast first, before casting directors, directors, or any other actors were hired.
Casting was then handed to "Step Up's" casting directors.
Clearly, a hunky guy was wanted to drive the movie and target girls and teenagers.
According to a New York Times article, girls are targeted by media because they are an influential, emotional audience. They consume in packs and are driving cultural tastes.
Who's lining up at the box office?
Adaptation Dear John book: Autistic character 'Alan' is Tim's brother.

Savannah is from a middle class family.

John's father has Asperger's Syndrome.

John serves in the military with no injury. 'Alan' is Tim's son, and Tim is married.

Savannah is upper class.

John's father has autism.

John gets shot in action during his military duty. This eliminates the "cheating" factor. Movie producers probably wanted to give him a more recognizable form of the disease. This builds the drama and male "hero" effect. movie: Dear John: Three weeks before the movie's release, a new ending was shot.


The ending was changed to illustrate the themes of "happily ever after" and "love prevails."
Test viewers complained the original ending was depressing and harsh.
The director, Lasse Hallstrom, did not agree on the decision to reshoot.

This unrealistic view of love, mates, and relationships is quietly influencing the perceptions and expectations of young girls.

the ending the last song book: 2009 / movie :2010 The Last Song casting and
production decisions Sparks approached Disney
Director Julie Anne Robinson
The impact of Tish Cyrus
"Writing grounded in reality" The Last Song adaptation The movie/screenplay was created before the book.
"Writing in reverse" miley cyrus Miley as "Hannah Montana"

Miley's impact on revenue
Miley's impact on girl culture Disney's top show www.vanityfair.com wrapping up Sparks has played a key role in defining the "perfect" relationship and arguably unrealistic representations of love.
Sparks's movies often feature "too perfect" scenes - think the Carolinas with a "life is good" attitude.
Sparks reaches a wide audience - according to a Chronicles of Education article, "The Last Song" was one of the best selling books on collge campuses in March 2010.
With younger girls becoming the target of his movies, Sparks's creations have a huge impact on young girls.
Consumers can watch and read with critical eyes or for enjoyment - at the end of the day, it is important to simply understand the impact and possible consequences of what we are consuming. www.disneydreaming.com Heather Schaefer, Lindsay Haddock, Jenny Deising, Betsy Schieferstein
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