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Masterplots: Déjà Vu And Memories Of Happiness An Analysis Of Masterplots And Deja Vu Found In Ernest Hemingway's "A Clean Well Lighted Place" And Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain"

1151 words - 5 pages

Masterplots: Déjà vu and Memories of HappinessOnce upon a time, at sometime and someplace in their life, everyone has probably felt truly happy, free and alive. If not, they at least have an idea of what happiness is supposed to be like. The unfortunate thing is that due to circumstances, as humans living within the restrictions of society, we rarely are able to achieve this state and instead spend our lives trying to recapture that one moment where and when we could feel truly content. Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain" and Ernest Hemingway's "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" as well as many other famous works of literature all share a common theme with this masterplot. The characters in these stories experience a pleasant feeling of déjà vu and are reminded of a happier, more perfect time in their lives.Anyone who has ever taken a souvenir or vacation photograph can definitely relate to this idea, because these things are important specifically to help evoke pleasant memories. Not only do objects help us to remember, but even more often our senses are the implements of déjà vu. Any sensation, whether sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch, can instantly bring back strong recollections and associations, whether good or bad. Naturally, the happiest memories are the ones that people like to dwell on, and when things aren't going so well, sometimes those memories are all that remain.Utopian happiness is also a masterplot found throughout many stories. The popular fairy tale ending, "and they all lived happily ever after" gives fantastic closure, putting an end to any and all worries about the present or future. The desire for indefinite peace, love and happiness is something everyone can relate to. What happens in Hemingway and Proulx, however, shows that actually people do not in fact usually live happily ever after. While there may have been happiness once, it quickly fades and is lost, leaving only memories. Instead of eternal bliss, there often remain only dreams, and the day to day harshness of reality. In the beginning of "Brokeback Mountain", Ennis wakes up in his trailer. He has just lost his job and has to get on the road; things are not looking very good, "yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream." (255). The memory brings him great happiness: "it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong."Jack and Ennis, the lovers from Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain", are never quite able to find again the experience which was theirs the one summer when it was just the two of them up on the mountain. Their homosexual relationship and the most powerful feelings that either man had ever felt were unable to survive outside in the rest of the world because of an extremely intolerant society and their own denial. Their love was so impossible that they could never repossess that which was theirs that one happy place...

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