Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

1167 Words5 Pages
In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stresses the importance of memory and how memories shape a person’s identity. Stories such as “In Search of Lost Time” by Proust and a report by the President’s Council on Bioethics called “Beyond Therapy” support the claims made in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) meet on a train to Montauk, New York, where they instantly become drawn to each other. They don’t know it at the time, but Joel and Clementine use to be in a relationship lasted two years and ended with heartbreak. Clementine, who is naturally spontaneous, hires a company called Lacuna Inc., and they specialize in erasing people memories. When Joel discovers that Clementine has erased him from her memories and has no idea who he is, he decides to do the same to her. The process happens when you are asleep, and the majority of the film is based in Joel’s own mind. We see his memories being erased one by one, from the end of the relationship to the beginning. Once Joel experiences a good memory with Clementine, he finds he doesn’t want to continue the procedure, but there is no way to stop it. Throughout the film he tries to preserve at least one memory of her, but he isn’t able to. The last memory of Clementine tells Joel to “Meet me in Montauk” (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
In a separate story arc Patrick, one of Lacuna’s technicians, is dating Clementine and using Joel’s memories and words to seduce her. Mary, another Lacuna employee, discovers that she also had her memories of an affair with Dr. Howard Mierzwiak erased. This leads to Mary sending all the company’s records to the clients. When...

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...Although there may be a few benefits to erasing a person’s memory, in the end it is wrong. Without their memories a person doesn’t have the chance to form their identity and without being able to learn from our mistakes, they will continue to be made. Being an adult with a blank slate isn’t right, and you can’t experience good things without also experiencing bad things.

Works Cited

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Dir. Michel Gondry. Perf. Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet. Focus Features, 2004. DVD.
Proust, Marcel. In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way, Vol. 1. Trans. C. K. Scott-Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin. Ed. D. J. Enright. New York: The Modern Library, 2003. Print.
United States. President’s Council on Bioethics. Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Report of the President's Council on Bioethics. New York: Dana Press, 2003. Print.
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