Friday, March 18, 2016

Memory

The other day in class, we were discussing the idea of memory and everything that it entails. We talked about how generally most people try to block out bad memories and cling on to the good ones or even glorify the better ones. Sophomore year, Ms. Beauvais informed us that when you remember a memory, you actually remember your last remembrance of the memory each time as opposed to the actual memory. That is crazy to me. It makes me think though that when Sethe thinks of her happy memories of Sweet Home, these are memories that have melded over the years. Every time she thinks of these memories she tries to push out the bad ones, therefore the next time she only remembers more and more good aspects and eventually these memories have completely melded from negative to positive.

5 comments:

Jack Zheng said...
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Jack Zheng said...

That is very interesting! It makes sense that each time we think of some past experience, our past thoughts about that experience become a part of the memory of that experience.

We also don't only choose to romanticize our past experiences, and the inclination to forget about traumatic events is one of our defense mechanisms that serve to protect our mental health (though it is often detrimental).

Abbey said...

It is interesting that you (Belin) bring up how we "cling on to the good [memories]" and how that action helps us remember eventually only the good things that happened. I thought about the slaves on the Tecora from the movie yesterday. The way the slaves were drowned, whipped and beaten, starved, etc...extremely horrifying to think about and watch. I don't think there is any good memory that could come from that experience for the survivors aboard that ship--suffering themselves and watching friends and family be brutally murdered before their own eyes. Like Jack said, we tend to forget about traumatic events in order to help us cope with what happened. But how could one possibly ignore something as big as that every time they're reminded of the horror? It's a crazy concept to me to think about.

madison kahn said...
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madison kahn said...

I definitely agree with the fact that we would like to block out the bad memories. However, I don't really think that we often succeed. Something bad may not be the very first thing you think of with regard to a particular memory, but if you think long enough, the bad aspects of it are bound to come up. Both Sethe and Paul D are very easily able to recall the horrific events of the past, and whether they like it or not, those bad things will always be stuck with them. There's no way to block them out completely. Also, think about Halle. Halle saw the one thing that broke him. That one memory, although it's a horrible one, will always be stuck with him, and his life, unfortunately, will forever be haunted by it.