Comparing Truth In In The Lake Of The Woods And Memento

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The constant struggle in life is establishing a coherent idea of what truth is, but the unfortunate reality is that the truth is an unpredictable concept. In life, people suppress the facts and manipulate the “truth” in order to formulate a more ideal image of reality. When dealing with grief, individuals seem to enhance this quality and pursue every chance to create more desirable memories. Throughout Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods and Christopher Nolan’s Memento, memory is displayed as both unreliable and subjective, suggesting that all truths are contrasting and non objective ideas, manipulated through the experiences and psychological needs of an individual. By virtue of their unique structures, both pieces show that John and Lenny’s…show more content…
This motif continuously develops and transforms as John begins to establish a magical place away from his painful reality. In this mirror, “where [he] mostly lived,” he discovered that “he could read his father's mind” (65) and it “made the vodka bottles vanish from their hiding place” (66). By pretending he had a loving father who was not dependent on alcohol, and being “inside the mirrors”, John essentially displays this altered version of himself. Throughout the novel, it is prevalent that as a result of his father's abusive nature, John is incapable of expressing himself to others and in order to combat these insecurities, John removes himself from reality and learns to manipulate his memories. To John, the mirror stood as a place of refuge. If John was not fully satisfied with the memories and truths presented he would “erase the bad stuff” and “draw in pretty new pictures” (133). Overall, John faced tremendous grief and unhappiness throughout his life, which continually altered and transformed his view on the truth and his actions towards

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