The Past Is Our Definition

Good Essays

An American novelist Wendell Berry once said that “the past is our definition.” But does the past truly hold enough strength to impact one’s life? Is it merely a faded thought? Or does it provide an insight into one’s being? Quite often the past is simply referred to as a certain amount of elapsed time. However, it is more than just a quantifying term. The past is the memoir of one’s existence. It is the recollection of memories. The past is the keeper of our dreams, our struggles and our fears. It is the moments that collectively create both one’s present and personality. The past is a series of chords which when played in the right combinations produce a melodious euphony. On the other hand, it may be an avalanche bearing the symbol of one’s destruction. In times of sorrow, a glimpse into the past can provide relief by reminding one of moments of joy, by allowing him to relive them in his mind and by reducing the magnitude of his grief through this mirage. The past teaches a person to learn from his failures. Through the provision of a clear picture of one’s faults, the past compels a person to alter his course of action or change his behavior as time progresses in order to abstain from committing the same mistakes again. Thus, the past can shape one into an entirely different person. “Bear Came Over The Mountain” by Alice Munro is the tale of a couple’s distress as the wife, Fiona is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The story deals with

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