Two by Two

Two by Two - Nicholas Sparks The author is a very good writer. He has a reason for putting details in the story which at the time can seem odd. He'll use them latter in the story in order to illustrate his two big themes he's trying to demonstrate with his story.

The first major theme he illustrates is on the nature of wisdom. The main character understands what wisdom is but doesn't possess it (by his own reckoning), but all the secondary characters have it and share it with the protagonist. He knows that it (wisdom) comes from using our reason and rational thought from our experiences and emotional intuition applied appropriately. Or using Plato's formulation, taking our 'courage' and applying it 'moderately' in a 'just' manner. Nevertheless, the author mostly wrote the book to illustrate the concept of wisdom and slightly favors the first definition of wisdom.

The second theme is how in life we must play certain roles because of the world we are thrown into (being-in-the-world) and the 'they' that surrounds us and make us take a stand on our own understanding based on our taking care in the world. (The protagonist in the end does say something very close to that statement).

Literature is an effective method for teaching us how to be 'wise' and make us aware of the roles we often are forced to play through out our life and can teach us complicated philosophical concepts in the guise of fun.