The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

1455 Words6 Pages
Most people are very convinced that they have memories of past experiences because of the event itself or the bigger picture of the experience. According to Ulric Neisser, memories focus on the fact that the events outlined at one level of analysis may be components of other, larger events (Rubin 1). For instance, one will only remember receiving the letter of admission as their memory of being accepted into the University of Virginia. However, people do not realize that it is actually the small details that make up their memories. What make up the memory of being accepted into the University of Virginia are the hours spent on writing essays, the anxiety faced due to fear of not making into the university and the happiness upon hearing your admission into the school; these small details are very important in creating memories of this experience. If people’s minds are preset on merely thinking that memories are the general idea of their experiences, memories become very superficial and people will miss out on what matters most in life. Therefore, in “The Amityville Horror”, Jay Anson deliberately includes small details that are unnecessary in the story to prove that only memory can give meaning to life.
In this story, there are many small details. Anson includes a lot of small details in character descriptions such as “Father Mancuso turned away from his window. His head hurt. His stomach pained from the flu cramps. The priest was perspiring” (75) and “A man, who looked to be anywhere from thirty-five to forty-five because of his receding hairline was standing there with a hesitant smile on his face. His features were coarse and his nose was red from the cold” (42). Other small details include Kathy’s actions throughout the story....

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...ories at 112 Ocean Avenue and this makes them change their life drastically; they decide to move to the other end of the country. Life is short, so one should start creating good memories promptly in order to live a meaningful and fulfilled life.

Works Cited

Anson, Jay. The Amityville Horror. New York: Pocket, 1977. Print.

Mcgaugh, James L., and Aurora LePort. “Remembrance Of All Things Past.” Scientific
American 310.2 (2014): 40-45. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2014.

My Amityville Horror. Dir. Eric Walter. Perf. Daniel Lutz, Susan Bartell, Laura DiDio.
Film Regions International, Inc and Lost Witness Pictures, LLC, 2011. Documentary.

Ranpura, Ashish. "How we remember, and why we forget." Brain Connection (2000).

Rubin, David C. “Nested Structure in Autobiographical Memory.” Autobiographical Memory.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986. 71-81. Print.

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