If you ask any person you know the simple question, What is the fondest memory of childhood you have? it s guaranteed every person will stop to think. Each and every one of us all have special memories from our past, no matter how trivial; that s because memories are a large part of everyone character. Some people can remember back to their first steps, or even further, depending on how much of an impact that memory made in their mind.
Memories are without a doubt, part of every person s lives and can not be denied, even if they can be disproven. Our memories and what make each of us individuals in our society as a whole, and it is our memories that shape our future.
E.B. White wrote an essay entitled Once More to the Lake. The entire essay is built upon the memory of his childhood trip to a lake with his father, and the experiences that he undertook while there.
However, the entire process of recalling his memories are all triggered by current events when he takes his own son there so that he may get the same effect from the lake that he once did. White goes on about his joyous arrivals to the lake filled with excitement and noise, but is oddly enough calm and serene this time around. White attributes this to the passage of time and the modernization of the country. All his childhood memories from that point on are all re-enacted through his son, with a few changes due to the passage of time.
Every memory however that White recalls upon is ones of fondness and satisfaction. White demonstrates human nature to cling to past experiences that later effect at least one event of your future, however tainted his past realities have become.
While Whites essay deals with discrepancies being credited to the change in time, Stephen Jay Gould blames the human mind itself. Gould wrote Muller Bros. Moving & Storage , a very verbose essay on that very topic. In the beginning of his essay he travels back to the time when he was a child and walking along with his grandfather. Gould remembers, very distinctly, many events that partook in his strolls with his grandfather. He even mentioned, with precise detail, the area his memory took place and even to what his grandfather wore. Later on in his essay, Gould also goes into detail about one of his cross-country trips with his father. He remembers with great admiration of Devils Tower. How this huge mound of rocks looked miniscule from a distance and then grew with such animosity into a plateau that would rival Mount Olympus in his eyes. All these memories Gould held sacred about his past. In later years though he went back to visit his thoughts, only to find that they did not happen how he remembered. In fact, there were many ends of his story that unraveled. Either by combining his memory with another or simply filling a hole in his memory with a popular item that sticks out in his mind.
Gould tells his readers all this with one purpose in mind, to inform the reader that our memories can not be trusted. That our mind gets fulfillment in tricking ourselves into believing that something took place that never really did. None the less he holds onto his memories for the same reason that we all do. Memories our what makes our past, and our past is what builds our future.
Although both authors wrote on the same topic, the overall point that each reaches are entirely different. It is the difference in point that proves mine however. Each cling to their past memories and hold them to be true with each day that passes. Neither author excepts that their memory never took place, and neither would anyone else. Weather or not a memory has taken place, it still effects its owner. Some memories might have trivial effects such as a simple superstition for everyday events or some might have lasting effects that pierce ones mind and dramatically influence they interactions with the social world. No matter how often a person might learn that a small detail in their memory is not how they remembered it, they will still none the less cling to their original memory.