Analysis Of John Locke 's ' The Cold Soldier And Douglas Quail '

886 Words Mar 12th, 2015 4 Pages
John Locke argues in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, that personal identity is contingent upon the memories that people form. In essence, the ever-changing body is not a factor into defining who a person is. The consciousness of a subject puts memory into motion and thus, creating his or her identity. The main ideas behind Locke’s theory are still discussed today. However, fictional characters in movies prove that it they are inadequate. Prominent examples include: Neo in The Matrix, Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Douglas Quail in “We Will Remember It for You Whole Sale.” These characters set a precedence that confirms the invalidity of Locke’s theory as their identities are not based their continuous memory, or lack thereof. The concepts behind The Matrix will be revisited and studied for years to come as they raise several questions concerning personal identity and its connectivity to the body. Locke claims a flowing conscious memory is pivotal to manifest a personal identity. He argues that the body is a distinct entity that does not form an interdependent relationship with the mind. However, Neo in The Matrix is a strong example that proves Locke’s theory has flaws that undermine his definition of personal identity. The premise of the movie plays on the fact that Neo does not know whether he is dreaming or in the real world. In either circumstance, his conscious is transferable from body to body without a negligible impact on his…
Open Document