Would you fall in love with the same person after erasing all your memories?

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Would you fall in love with the same person after erasing all your memories? The movie, "External Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", shows you:" Yes, you will." It tells a story of a pair of couple--Joule and Clementine. Actually, due to the flashback starting, I had felt confused and misunderstood the whole story. Fortunately, I found a clear clue after reading some useful comments on the Internet. So, here is the whole story. Joule and Clementine fell in love at first sight in a party on the beach. The boy, Joule, is kind of shy; but the girl, Clementine, has her own understand of this world. We can realize it from her changing and colorful hair. She has passion for almost everything in her life. However, the difference between their characteristics made them break up. Clementine impulsively decided to delete all her memory with Joule to begin her new life. After knowing this truth, Joule was so angry and disappointed that he also determined to give up their memory through an operation. The doctor collected all things related to his memory with Clementine and all stories behind these things. It turned to some points in his brain. This operation would give him a dream of all experience that they were together. The therapists would erase every point of his memory; and Joule would forget everything contained Clementine in the next morning. During the operation, Joule was forced to face all fragments of their memory and he regretted this decision. He tried to escape from the operation, but failed. The only thing he remembered in the next morning was the last sentence that Clementine told him in last night's dream: meet her in Montauk. So, he ditched work and took a train out to Montauk even though he didn't know why he wanted to do that. And then they fell in love again until both of them received a tape which recorded their complaint about each other. However, they still chose to be together at last. There is another example in this movie is that the young nurse in the hospital fell in love with the old doctor who had wife and children again after erasing their memory. On the contrary, she chose to leave after the doctor's wife told her the truth. So, even though you will always love the same person after all memory that you experienced together disappeared, the reaction after you knew your past from other person or the record may be totally different just like these two examples.External.jpg
This movie shows us a chance that maybe we can erasing a painful memory. However, the consequence of this chance is hard to say. "Is erasing all traces of pain in life always a good thing? Or is emotional suffering instead an essential part of being human?" (Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding P267) From the textbook, we can understand that it is still a problem in psychological study. Until now, people already created the drug that inhibited people's adrenaline to block people from the disappointed period. At least, this drug could prevent people from remembering their traumatic experiences in a short term. Yet "this pill only dampened the effects of traumatic memories; it didn't erase them." (Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding P267)


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This is an interesting post. I personally love this movie! In your last paragraph you point out a provocative point - in discussion we talked about creating false memories, but you talk more of traumatic or life-changing moments that we try to forget, to pretend that they never happened. Despite not being a scientific movie, it certainly points to something interesting philosophical questions.

This is one of my favorite movies. I like the idea that, if we don't remember doing something, we would do it all over again. I think that gives everyone a true sense of identity-that we can't escape our instincts or personal opinions, however deep or unattainable they may seem to us. I also think erasing a painful memory is not only bad, but somewhat impossible. So even if these types of surgeries were possible, I wouldn't have it done.

This post was super interesting! I have never seen the movie, but I am really excited to rent it now! I believe that dreams are always taken from parts of our reality anyways,so I'm sure that if you dreamt about a loved one, you'd wake up wanting to find them. Using the technique to erase traumatic events from a persons memory could be a great mistake, in my opinion. Most people can define and change their lives based off of big events they've experienced, whether happy or traumatic. After reading the description of the movie, I also thought of the new movie that just came out called "The Vow", which seems to be a cheaper knockoff. The movie is based off of true events though, where a woman loses memory of her husband and never regains them, but falls in love with him again.

Never heard of the movie, and although I hate romance I am really tempted to see it! Its an interesting idea, but I don't really know if I could erase all the memories, and even if I had an operation how do you erase some memories but not the other? There is a reason why they broke up in the first place, so best not get back together ;).

I watch the movie several month ago and it impressed me a lot. Interesting comment on that and I think you real find a good relationship between psychology and the movie!

I have never seen this movie, but I will definitely go watch it after reading your article. I think you did overall a good job linking this article with the concepts learned from the textbook, however, I think you could have spent more time explaining memory concepts and just included a trailer for the movie instead of describing it.

This is one of my favorite movies!!! I love how it can psychology can be incorporated in it. I don't think I could ever erase all my memories of a person, because these memories are crucial in our development as a person. We learn from our experiences so we have a better idea of how to best handle a situation if it comes up again. As our class has shown environment and experience are just as important, if not more important, than our biological influences.

This is very interesting and also makes me think of the movie, the vow. Of course, Paige didn't mean to erase her memory, but it is tragic to see her having to relive the last 5 years, pretty much all over again. She had to make the same mistakes and learn the same tragic facts of her life. I can't imagine how terrible it would be to lose your memory, but i can see it doing some good, for example, those who have fought in a war to avoid PTSD.

I love this movie and have seen it many times! This was why I was so interested in your blog. I think it would be entirely possible to fall in love who you loved before your memory was erased. You like someone for their qualities, after the operation they would still have those qualities. I think the most difficult factor would be meeting this person again and spending time enough time with them that an interest in each other would occur.

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This page contains a single entry by qianx122 published on March 4, 2012 10:35 PM.

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