Narrative Memory and the Impact of Trauma on Individuals with Reference to One Short Sequence from Memento

Front Cover
GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 32 pages
0 Reviews
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, Free University of Berlin (John F. Kennedy Institut Berlin), course: HS American Cultural Memory: Trauma, Collective Imagery and the Politics of Remembering, 3 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The text by Bessel Van der Kolk and Onno Van der Hart "The Intrusive Past" provides an overview of the work and achievement of Jean - Martin Charcots and Pierre Janet's study about how the mind processes memories and the effects of traumatic memories on consciousness. With the following text, I will present a couple of central aspects of Janet's study and the phenomena of dissociation and the reconstruction of the past through narrative memory and project them onto one short sequence from "Memento" (2001) to further support my argument. The main point of this text is to illustrate how narrative memory reshapes the past in a variety of ways and that the main character in "Memento," who has lived through a traumatic experience, creates and recreates his past through the means of a combination of the already mentioned dissociation and narrative memory. Janet considered "the memory system as the central organizing apparatus of the mind, which categorizes and integrates all aspects of experience and automatically integrates them into ever - enlarging and flexible meaning schemes." He differentiates between the subconscious automatic integration of familiar and expectable experiences into existing meaning schemes and the difficult integration of frightening and novel experiences, which might either totally resist integration or be remembered extremely vivid. The subconscious integration of memories occurs because they fit easily into the meaning scheme, they do not pose a threat or form a contradiction to the already existing beliefs, values and meanings of the world. Whereas the automatic integration of new information happens without conscious"
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - ... shown that dissociation of a traumatic experience occurs as the trauma is occurring (Putnam 1989). There is little evidence for an active process of pushing away of the overwhelming experience; the uncoupling seems to have other mechanisms. Many trauma survivors report that they automatically are removed from the scene; they look at it from a distance or disappear altogether, leaving other parts of their personality to suffer and store the overwhelming experience. "I moved up to the ceiling from...
Page 3 - Dissociation reflects a horizontally layered model of mind: when a subject does not remember a trauma, its "memory" is contained in an alternate stream of consciousness, which may be subconscious or dominate consciousness, eg, during traumatic reenactments (Janet, 1894).
Page 1 - Janet noticed that there were marked temperamental differences between people in such areas as "psychological force" (overall energy level) and psychological tension (the capacity to focus on relevant information and utilize available data for appropriate action). Besides temperament, he viewed the memory system as the central organizing apparatus of the mind, which categorizes and integrates all aspects of experience and automatically integrates them into ever enlarging and flexible meaning schemes...
Page 2 - Past," p. 163) that when one element of a traumatic experience is evoked, all other elements follow automatically.
Page 3 - I moved up to the ceiling from where I saw this little girl being molested and I felt very sorry for her" is a common description of incest survivors. When survivors later on suffer from flashbacks and related phenomena and subsequently become amnestic again for the trauma, they keep dissociating the traumatic memory. As illustrated by Janet's patient, Irene, the re-experience of the trauma itself...
Page 3 - Repression reflects a horizontally layered model of mind: what is repressed is pushed downward, into the unconscious. The subject no longer has access to it. Only symbolic indirect indications would point to its assumed existence. Disassociation reflects a vertically layered model of mind: when a subject does not remember a trauma, its "memory...
Page 8 - LEONARD That's Sammy, not me! I told you about Sammy TEDDY Like you've told yourself. Over and over . Conditioning yourself to believe. "learning through repetition...
Page 8 - Great story . Gets better every time you tell it. So you lie to yourself to be happy. Nothing wrong with that - we all do . Who cares if there' sa few little things you
Page 9 - I guess I can only make you believe the things you want to be true, huh? Like ol ' Jimmy down there . Bibliography • Bessel A.
Page 8 - Sammy's wife came to me and TEDDY Sammy didn't have a wife. Leonard freezes, staring at Teddy. It was your wife who had diabetes. Leonard thinks . Flashback : Lenny' s wife lying on the floor wrapped in plastic, eyes twinkling, then plastic is removed.

Bibliographic information