The bittersweet denouement of two illfated spouses having their stories end in

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The bittersweet denouement of two ill-fated spouses having their stories end in each other’s arms is present in both texts. This is typical of Shakespeare’s tragic storytelling in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s structure, of Romeo and Juliet defeating all odds to chase their happy endings, and instead meeting their own endings, is reflected in both The Bear Came Over the Mountain and The Notebook. The Shakespearean structure is apparent in the way that Grant goes through a lifetime of sorting out his marriage with Fiona only to have her lose any memory of their relationship. Similarly, Noah and Allie withstand a lifetime of hardships only to have their dream of growing old together cut short by Alzheimer’s. In keeping with literary allusions, the irony of naming The Bear Came Over the Mountain after a nursery rhyme that has childish, fairytale qualities is a satirical move. This is especially ironic considering the morbid nature of The Bear Came Over the Mountain. The subtle allusion to the nursery rhyme The Bear Went Over the Mountain, however, is a testament to the structure of Munro’s short story. In the nursery rhyme, the bear goes over rivers, meadows and mountains only to find the other side of them. For Grant, he goes through all kinds of inner conflicts regarding his infidelity, marriage and role as a caretaker. In the end, he always finds himself faced with more infidelity, marital problems and responsibilities as a caretaker. Each of Grant’s uphill battles, like the nursery rhyme, leads to a downward decline of never-ending suffering and soul searching. Similar to the nursery rhyme, Grant was stuck in a loop, and there was no closure for him. It was a contrasting sequence of events compared to the ending of The Notebook, where a clear-cut ending is established through Noah and Allie’s deaths. Turning to the motif of the “notebook” that Noah wrote, the story ended with the final page – just like any notebook. Sparks provides sad yet comforting closure in the thought of two spouses being reunited after death. This closure is finalized when the last paragraph comes to a close. Here, Noah’s stream of consciousness speaks for itself, “I feel the warmth of her body and allow myself to slip away, as I did so many years ago” (Sparks 113). In contrast, Alice Munro gives no comfort in the dark realization that Grant and Fiona’s suffering still has a long way to go. Fiona demonstrates this in her last line of the story, where she tells Grant that he could have “Just driven away without a care in the world and forsook me. Forsooken me. Forsaken.” (Munro 14). From the way Fiona’s speech is deteriorating, Munro suggests that the end is near for Fiona. It locks Grant in the cycle of trying to fix things that are out of his control.