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Earl in “Memento Mori” Short Story and “Memento” Film Essay

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Updated: Jan 18th, 2021

The Analysis of the Character

Earl is the main character of the short story “Memento Mori”. Earl is first quite a young man who has a special mental condition. He suffers from amnesia. He seems to be confused most of the time. He is disoriented as he does not remember why he is in the hospital. The man has to read some notes scattered all over his pockets and the room to regain his self.

It seems that two people are living in him: the one who writes the notes and the new him who appears every ten minutes. The one who is writing has a particular aim. He has revenge in his mind. This Earl is trying to preserve himself in the notes. He wants to encourage the new Earl to achieve the major goal of their complicated life. The new Earl is like a child who follows an adult’s instructions. Each time the new Earl becomes the mature Earl who pursues his goals.

In the middle of the story, Earl is older. He looks older and his clothes are shabby. He is tanned and his watch is gone. His body is covered with tattoos which serve as a certain plan, certain guidance. The new Earl follows the plan revealed on his body. Earl finally succeeds and kills the one who is responsible for his wretched state. Earl is satisfied and he is smiling.

However, he fails to highlight his victory. He is desperate, but soon he does not even remember his triumph. The only thing he has is his plan depicted on his body. The new Earl is still encouraged to continue the chase.

Visual Elements

It is quite difficult to choose a particular scene to analyze as the entire film Memento is special. However, what strikes me is of particular attention to meaningful details. Thus, the scene where the main character recollects some facts concerning Sammy is of special interest.

In the first place, the scene is shot in black and white. It creates the idea of a certain memory flash. Admittedly, these flashes (or even the idea of flashes) are central to the story as it is all about scattered memory flashes of a man who has a goal. The color also creates a ‘sharper’ picture. The viewer is forced to focus on details as the viewer is not distracted by colors.

Apart from the use of color, the director uses the camera in a very specific manner. Again, there are some kinds of splashes. The room and the character as well as other characters are depicted in splashes. Specific details are in the spotlight. For instance, the director stresses everyday activities with the help of such objects as telephone and razor.

As for me, this very scene reveals the essence of the main character’s conditions. He lives his life which is several memory flashes. He lives in a world where specific details like notes or tattoos count. He does not notice colors in his present life. He focuses on his aim. Therefore, it is possible to note that he lives his life in black and white. He only has his aim and his plan. He is focused. This is what the scene under consideration is all about: the precision of a man who lives his life which is torn into small memory flashes.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 18). Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/earl-in-memento-mori-short-story-and-memento-film/

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"Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film." IvyPanda, 18 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/earl-in-memento-mori-short-story-and-memento-film/.

1. IvyPanda. "Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/earl-in-memento-mori-short-story-and-memento-film/.


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IvyPanda. "Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/earl-in-memento-mori-short-story-and-memento-film/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/earl-in-memento-mori-short-story-and-memento-film/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Earl in "Memento Mori" Short Story and "Memento" Film'. 18 January.

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