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Can One Exist Without Seperation? Essay

1085 words - 4 pages

I have recently been introduced to several different essays including; Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.], The Sunflower, and Memento (film). These essays and film are very diverse in subject matter ranging from segregation, the holocaust, violence and opposition. Although the titles mentioned above are all very diverse, they are all linked together through the theme of dualism. Dualism is a separation between two strongly opposing objects and whether one knows it or not, dualism is all around them every day (Comer). Denying respect to a contrasting group or idea one does not believe in is also a way to describe dualism. Dualism is presented in many ways throughout everyone’s life; it is a part of our own identity which makes it almost impossible to exist in today’s world without separation from an opponent or an object.
Dualism exists through many factors, one in which can be violence. The entire theme of the film Memento revolved around an extremely violent man, Leonard Shelby (Nolan, Memento). Memento is a great example of dualism because it exists directly in the plot itself. As a member of the audience to the film Memento, I was put through a similar experience to that of Leonard Shelby. In the film, Leonard Shelby has suffered from short-term memory (Nolan, Memento). Our lack of short-term memory makes it near impossible to have a realistic representation of what has happened through Leonard Shelby’s life. I believe that in the film, Leonard manipulates his loss of memory to try to bring a purpose to his life. Leonard states, “I can remember the past before the accident but now I only exist for revenge (Nolan, Memento).” I believe the purpose he tries to bring to his life is to get revenge by killing the man who murdered his wife, John Edward Gammell. The problem with this is that he cannot remember killing John Edward Gammell due to his short-term memory loss (Nolan, Memento). Because he cannot remember killing John Edward Gammell justice is never met (Nolan, Memento). In this situation justice is an example of dualism, as justice is playing the role of an equal and opposite reaction (Comer).
There is also an example in The Sunflower of an equal and opposite reaction. Simon Wiesenthal found that a sunflower was placed on the top of the gravestone of each Nazi soldier connecting them to the living world (Wiesenthal 14). Wiesenthal envied the dead soldiers and said, “I would be buried in a mass grave, where corpses would be piled on top of me. No sunflower would ever bring light into my darkness, and no butterflies would dance above my dreadful tomb (Wiesenthal 14-15).” Dualism is a strong theme throughout the anthology, The Sunflower. Comparing Simon Wiesenthal from The Sunflower to Leonard Shelby in Memento, the two men are similar in many ways. Simon Wiesenthal created a hatred and jealousy towards the German soldiers (Wiesenthal 14). In this case the sunflower placed on top of the gravestones of the Nazi soldiers was a dualistic...

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