Thematic and Stylistic Analysis of Sparks’ The Last Song: In-Depth Exploration of Literary Writing

In-depth exploration on writing fluency


  • Debora Simanjuntak Universitas Advent Indonesia


Thematic Analysis, Stylstylistic Analysis, Writing Fluency


This study aimed to reveal the elements of Sparks’ writing style and his chosen themes for an in-depth exploration of literary writing. The data for this study was textual, coming from Sparks’ The Last Song. It was conducted within the framework of two theories: Aestheticism and Stylistics. It was found that Sparks utilizes binary opposite themes, which are: Hatred Vs Love, Death Vs Life, Adultery Vs Fidelity, Distrust Vs Faith, Alienation Vs Closeness, Poverty Vs Wealth, and Illusion Vs Reality. These themes become completely effective as they are supported by his style of narrating the story. Sparks’ style is analyzed in terms of the following elements: Figurative languages of speech, Syntax/Sentence Fluency, Diction/Choice of Words, Point of View, Types of discourses, and Plot Devices. Through the analysis of Sparks’ novel, implications for literary appreciation and creative writing were drawn. The implications for literary appreciation are: read to enjoy the literature, enhance the enjoyment of literature, and develop a passion for literature. The implications for creative writing are: practice creative reading, think critically and analytically, write pictorially and aurally, and fictionalize a true-to-life story.

Article Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Bautista, C.F. (2006, July). Literary influence and the building block of poetry. Philippine Panorama: Manila Bulletin, 25-26.

Bautista, C.F. (2006, August). The habit of reading. Philippine Panorama: Manila Bulletin, 25-26.

Black, E. (2006). Pragmatic Stylistics. Edinburgh University Press.

Brainard, C.M. (2009). Fundamentals of creative writing. Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Bucher, K.T, & Manning, M.L. (2001). Taming the alien genre: bringing science fiction into the classroom. DLA Ejournal. 28(2).

Çetin, H. & Çetin, S.C. (2021). The Effect of Story Wheel Method on Creative Writing Skills, Story Elements and Word Numbers. International Journal of Progressive Education. 17 (5) 2021. 77-86

Cruz et al. (2004). A treasury of world literature. Manila: Far Easter University.

Culler, J.D. (2002). Structuralist Poetics: structuralism, linguistics and the study of literature. Routledge.

DiYanni, R. (2001). Drama and Introduction. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Gissing, G. (2001). Charles Dickens: a critical study. Boston, MA: Elibron Classics, Adamant Media Corp.

Harper, G. (2010). On creative writing. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Harper, G. (2014). The future of creative writing. John Wiley & Sons

Hicks, W. (2007). English for journalists (3rd ed.). Routledge.

Hudson, S. & LeClair, M. (2004). Thinking and writing in the humanities. Thomson Wadsworth.

Joughin, J.J & Malpas, S. (Eds.) (2003). The New Aestheticsm. Manchester University Press.

Kidler, C. (2010). Nicholas Sparks’ books ignite passion.

Klimova, F. B. (2014). Detecting the development of language skills in current English language teaching in the Czech Republic. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 158, 85-92.

Manyak, P. C. & Manyak, A (2021). Literary Analysis and Writing: An Integrated Instructional Routine. International Literacy Association. 74 (4). 395-405

McCuen, J.R., & Winkler, A.C. (2004). Readings for writers (11th ed.). Thomson Wadsworth.

Miralpeix, I., & Munoz, C. (2018). Receptive vocabulary size and its relationship to EFL language skills. IRAL, 56(1), 1-24.

Montgomery, T., & Rainey, M. (2009). Connection: writing, reading, and critical thinking (3rd ed.). Pearson Longman.

Morley, D. (2007). Creative writing. Cambridge University Press.

Morrison, B. (2006). Creative writing: a workbook with readings. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Lou, Y., & Xu, P. 2016. The impact of strategy training on vocabulary comprehension. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4, 91-97

Rasinski, T. (2010). The fluent reader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Scholastic

Richards, J. C. & Schmidt, R. (2002). Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. Edinburgh: Pearson Education Limited.

Ramet, A. (2001). Creative writing: Use your imagination, develop your writing skills and get published. How to Book Ltd.

Serrano, J.B., & Ames, T.M. (2009). Advanced Composition (3rd ed.). National Book Store.

Silvia, P.J., & Beaty, R.E. (2012). Making creative metaphors: The importance of fluid intelligence for creative thought. Intelligence, 40(4), 343–351.

Simpson, P. (2004). Stylistics: a resource book for students. Routledge.

Spanich, R. (2006). Literary love making in Nicholas Sparks’ novels: finding the blance between the writer’s life and writer’s work in bestselling romantic love. Symposium website

SparkNotes. (2007). John Bunyan: the pilgrim’s progress. Spark Publishing

SparkNotes. (2003). Charlotte bronte: Jane Eyre. Spark Publishing.

SparkNotes. (2003). Fyodor dostoevsky: crime and punishment. Spark Publishing

SparkNotes. (2003). William shakespeare: hamlet. Spark Publishing.

SparkNotes. (2003). Jane austen: Pride and Prejudice. Spark Publishing.

SparkNotes. (2002). Leo tolstoy: Anna Karenina. Spark Publishing.

Sparks, N. (1996). The notebook. NewYork: Vision.

Sparks, N. (1998). Message in the bottle. Grand Central Publishing.

Sparks, N. (1999). A walk to remember. Grand Central Publishing.

Sparks, N. (2002). Nights in rodanthe. Grand Central Publishing.

Sparks, N. (2006). Dear john. Grand Central Publishing.

Sparks, N. (2009). The last song. Grand Central Publishing.

Swander, M. Leahly, A. & Cantrell, M. (2007). Theories of creativity and creative writing pedagogy. In Steven Earnshaw (ed.). The handbook of creative writing. Edinburg University Press.

Tallerman, M. (2005). Understanding syntax (2nd ed.). Hodder Arnold.

Tatarkiewicz, W., Harnell, J., Bareet, C., Petsch, D. (2005). History of aesthetics. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005.

Taylor, C.L., Kaufman, J., Barbot, B. (2021). Measuring Creative Writing with the Storyboard Task: The Role of Effort and Story Length. Journal of Creative Behavior. 55(2) 476-488.

Toolan, M.J. (2001). Narrative: a critical linguistic introduction. Routledge.

Torralba-Perez, A. (2001). Creative writing: what you need to know. Miniscience Publishing, Inc.

Paler-Calmorin, L., & Calmorin, M. (2007). Research methods and thesis writing (2nd ed.). Rex Book Store.

Zimmerman, B.J., & Risemberg, R. (1997). Becoming a self-regulated writer: A social cognitive perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22, 73–101.

Wang, H. (2021). Exploring the Relationships of Achievement Motivation and State Anxiety to Creative Writing Performance in English as a Foreign Language. Thinking Skills and Creativity (2021), doi:

Watson, G., & Zyngier, S. (Eds.). (2007). Literature and stylistics for language learners: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmilan.

Wells, T., Albright, L., Keown, K., Tkatch, R., Duffy, M., Wu, L., & Wicker, E. (2018). Expressive writing: Improving optimism, purpose, and resilience writing and gratitude. Innovation in Aging, 2(1), 241–241.




How to Cite

D. Simanjuntak, “Thematic and Stylistic Analysis of Sparks’ The Last Song: In-Depth Exploration of Literary Writing: In-depth exploration on writing fluency”, JELPEDLIC, vol. 8, no. 1, Aug. 2022.