The Savannah Effect: How Far Will You Go?

Have you ever read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks? In 2010, it was made into a movie starring the lovely Channing Tatum. Actually, I watched the movie first and it inspired me to go grab the book. It was one of those rare occasions where I happened to love the movie more than the book. The critical factor might be no more than Channing Tatum, but what can I say, he is a hot guy (which reminds me of The Notebook too – Ryan Gosling, anyone?). :mrgreen:

However, my fascination for Dear John does not stop with Channing Tatum. I’m pretty captivated by what Savannah, the lead girl, did in the story. She was head over heels in love with John, hell she was practically puking rainbows for the guy, but since he is a marine, she ended up succumbing to the loneliness and she eventually married another man – while John was away.

You might think it is a simple case of infidelity but the decision Savannah made is more than that. The girl loved John too much she goes crazy without him, like life stops and nothing is worth living for in his absence. I can imagine the monstrosity of the pain, depression, and hysteria she must have gone through. For some, it is quite easy to judge her as weak and stupid for letting go of the love of her life but I actually understand why it happened. I may not find her decision agreeable but I see where it came from.

The dynamics of Savannah’s choice truly engages me. For sure, it is not one decision someone makes overnight and either way it must have felt like hell. What is worse, she actually gave up on John when he is about to finish his tour in the military for less than a year! Damn, can you imagine the intensity of the negativity the girl must be feeling? I kind of imagine she felt like dying already, because without him she is practically empty.

I’m curious what you have to say about the Savannah effect: giving up on something that consumes you because its absence is maddening and waiting is as bearable as having your soul ripped apart. What is your opinion on settling, on getting by with something not great but certainly better than misery? How far would you go? How long would you wait? What is truly worth suffering for?

11 thoughts on “The Savannah Effect: How Far Will You Go?

  1. Pingback: Think Of Me… «

  2. I thought Savannah married the old guy because he pitied him. hehe. Damn, I think i have to grab the book.

    Good thing the Savannah effect never happened on me yet. 🙂

    • in the book, there is no indication that she married the other guy because of the autistic kid. i guess this is a part the movie got creative with. 🙂

      • i haven’t read the book yet, but if this is the case well I must agree that the movie is better than the book 🙂

        • the book is nice but i guess that always happens when books are turned to movies – you lose the introspective part which is sometimes the most beautiful.

  3. wow. parang gusto kong basahin ang book to understand/appreciate (i dont know if appreciate is the right term, but you know what i mean) this more.

    ahmmm… feeling ko na-vindicate ako sa ginawa ko — na hindi ako weak lang kaya ni-let go ko yung feeling ko sa kanya. i hate it na kailangan ko pang makabasa ng ganito para lang maintindihan ko kung anong ginawa ko. truth is, i sometimes feel i betrayed my feeling. just to save myself, i had to let her go and settle for someone else.


    • glad the post helped. i don’t think giving up is all that easy. even if you give up, there is a residual trauma that you have to deal with. but i guess people let go for various reasons. diba may kasabihan na a good soldier knows when to fight and when to surrender? maybe we just have to pray that whatever we decide, whether we fight or let go, is that we are doing the right decision. 🙂

  4. I read the book, and have not seen the movie. As with everything, each of us are different and deal with things in our own way. Whilst a poignant story what leaves one lamenting their disconnect, maybe it wouldn’t work for them. Maybe she let fear run her life, but who am I to say she was wrong?

    • or we can just say that shit happened. 😆 this is really one of those things that keep on hovering in my head. i am in awe of the dynamics of the decision and possibly with the emotions involved in making it.

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