The Valley By Joan Macleod

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Throughout the play, “The Valley” written by Joan MacLeod, there is a definite denial and avoidance theme taking place within all the relationships, but mostly there is a lack of acceptance for what is really happening in each of their lives. In the drama, by Charlie Kaufman, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind”, there is also a similar theme of unacceptance among the main characters Joel and Clementine, although it only seems that they lack acceptance for themselves, and each other. In “The Valley”, the characters are in denial of the present situations that are taking place in their lives and they are seeking to find past memories to deal with their present reality. Whereas, in the “Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind”, the two main characters decide to erase their memories of the other, as they believe this will make it easier to deal with their break up. As a result, by the end of both dramas the characters learn that the present moment is easier to deal with and accept than the alternative: to deny the present or erase the past. In the screenplay by Kaufman, there is a company that erases a person’s memories that they no longer want. It is a simple way to deal with a situation or a person without having to accept what has happened, in the case of Joel and Clementine, their situation was they broke up. Clementine walked out on Joel and Immediately decided to have him erased without his knowledge. After Joel found out from his friends that Clementine had him erased, he decided the only way he could deal with Clementine not having any memory of him, was to have her erased too. While Joel’s memories were being erased, Mary, a secretary at the company quoted, “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the... ... middle of paper ... ...ay they were able to see the relationship with their limited knowledge of themselves. While Joel was having his memory erased it was very clear that the things that they both didn’t like about each other was truly what they didn’t like about themselves but completely unaware of that possibilty. Similarly, in “The Valley”, Dan struggled with seeing his wife as a reflection of the street people he worked with everyday as a police officer and Sharon would have to accept who her son is now and let go of her past memories of who she believes he is, with acceptance she was able to let go and accept the truths about who she was and let go of her past beliefs of who her son was and accept and love him for who he as become. But knowing who is now will also become the past and is ever changing if they don’t allow themselves to get stuck in the memories and stop living today.

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