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Pros And Cons Of Rewriting A Memory

Decent Essays
The Pros of Rewriting a Memory
Nearly everyone possesses a memory that they wish they could change, whether they make the wrong decision, or just commit some embarrassing action. Although these memories typically hold little significance on daily life, severe emotional recollections truly shape one’s life, and impact those around he/she. To rewrite a memory, one can either remove painful emotions, or increase the amount of emotions, depending on which option creates a bigger and more beneficial effect. In “The Glass House,” “Partial Recall,” and The Things They Carried, Chris Adrian, Michael Specter, and Tim O’Brien argue that rewriting a memory improves the recollection and creates a more impactful memory.
Chris Adrian in “The Glass House”
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O’Brien writes about how his friend, Rat Kiley, recalls and tells his memories: “he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt”(O’Brien 85). Through the extended metaphor of “heating” O’Brien emphasizes how emotions greatly impact the effect of a memory, even making it “burn” with feeling. This shows how rewriting a memory to possess more intense emotions, as Rat Kiley does, improves the recollection and creates a story containing more vivid feelings, therefore increasing the emotional impact of it. This relates to how O’Brien writes his book; he tells rewritten versions of his memories from the war, and by rewriting them he deepens the emotions of his novel. O’Brien later explains the falsities in his story about killing a man:“Right here, now, as I invent myself, I’m thinking of all I want to tell you[...] I did not kill him. But I was present, you see, and my presence was guilt enough” (171). In this example, O’Brien shows how rewriting his memory of the war better improves the impact of the story. He presents a more dramatic version of his recollection to magnify the feelings of his memory; by writing that he killed the man, it accentuates the guilt, since a person who actually killed someone most likely feels more guilt than a bystander. By stating that “my…show more content…
In “The Glass House,” Adrian uses Frenchy’s photographs to illustrate how rewriting the deaths of the soldiers improves their legacy. Through his pictures, Frenchy allows for the soldiers to receive the recognition and appreciation that they deserve. Similarly, in “Partial Recall,” Specter utilizes both Schiller’s and Foa’s research to display how removing painful feelings from a memory can help the person cope with their traumatic experience; this benefits the person’s life, and gives he/she the capability to recall that event without the paralyzing fear the comes with it. Likewise, O’Brien shows how rewriting the truth in his memories increases their effect, creating a more intense and emotional memory. He structures his whole novel around telling rewritten memories that better represent the emotions of the war. All three texts demonstrate how a rewritten memory creates an improved recollection that holds a more significant
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