Spotless Mind Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Emotion, Mind, Thought, Love, Sociology / Pages: 3 (668 words) / Published: Apr 2nd, 2017
Human memory is a complex process that plays an important role in every individual’s life. It is responsible for recalling precious moments that occurred in the past and enables one to remember the skills and information they learned. The relationship between memory and emotions are closely linked as certain memories can trigger feelings, and certain feelings can prompt certain memories. Michel Gondry’s 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores the importance of memory as certain memories can have a huge impact on one’s life. This film analyzes the memories made between the protagonists Joel and Clementine while they were in love and how these memories, that once made them happy, can cause them grief and heartache after the relationship …show more content…
In a way they need each other, as the story progresses we see Joel affected by Clementine’s impulsive character as he beings to embody this impulsive nature. This is illustrated as Joel decides to erase Clementine from his memories impulsively merely acting on his anger and heartbreak. Additionally, after Joel’s procedure successfully erases Clementine from his memories the impulsive instincts and emotions that arose from the relationship are still present. This is evident as Joel spontaneously decides to ditch work and go to Montauk for the day as he mentions, “I ditched work today, took a train out to Montauk. I don’t know why” ( ). Therefore, erasing a certain memory does not erase the emotions, as Joel’s impulsive nature still exists along with his attraction to Clementine. This scene critiques the notion that erasing the bad or painful memories will allow one to move on and start a new beginning. This is evident as Joel’s now spotless mind does not bring him happiness, after he wakes up from the procedure his expression is vacant as he blankly states at the ceiling. This scene conveys the message that he is sad and frustrated as he aggressively kicks off his sheets. In addition, erasing Clementine from his memories does not result in Lacuna’s promise of a ‘new beginning’ as he meets her once again. However, Joel’s sense of ‘self’ is disrupted in the aftermath of erasing Clementine from his memories. Joel is not able to make sense of why he is being impulsive as he mentions, “I’m not an impulsive person…I guess I just woke up in a funk this morning” (). Although he is responding to the phantom influence of his lost memories, his is unable to assign any meaning to his impulsive action. Indeed, Joel’s mind is now spotless by the procedure, but instead he is exposed to the emptiness generated by his memory loss as he cannot

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