Memories Are What Always With Us

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The following sample essay on Memories Are What Always With Us tells about the painful past of people and that everyone has good and painful memories.

Everyone has a past. Whether it’s good or bad, there is no changing it and you have to live with it an accept what is going on today. As we have always been people who move on, leaving behind wreckage and fragments in our wake (dicky 42). In the Shining, we learn of the Torrance family, Jack, Wendy, and five-year-old Danny.

It details their tragic experience at an isolated and haunted hotel, the now famous Overlook. In Toni Morrison’s, Beloved, we learn about the slave legacy of black woman named Sethe from her Civil War days as a slave in Kentucky to her time in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although Sethe lives there as a free woman, she is held prisoner by memories of the trauma of her life as a slave. The book and the film share a similar theme of a haunting lead by a dreadful past.

From a distance, the Torrance family is the picture of a classic American family. Upon closer examination, however, the Torrances’ family life is filled with doubt and fear, revolving around Jack’s insecurity about being an author. While Wendy attempts to keep her family together, the resentment that Jack has towards her and Danny gradually emerges as a threat to their lives. There are haunted structures of all kinds: Houses, Hotels (dicky 18) The decay of the all-American family are likely shown in the old rundown nature of the hotel.

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While they are staying at this hotel, Jack seems to get taken over by a spirit or ghost in the hotel. The way the hotel tears the Torrance family apart could be shown purely in the ghosts. This is shown in the visions that Danny and Jack have as the members of the Grady family never appear together, but rather in different pockets of the hotel.

This could mean that every family that goes to this hotel is torn apart. Room 237, for example, is fearsome for Jack because it contains both the fantasy and nightmare that he associates with the mother figure. There, he watches his dream woman decay into the grotesque old woman with whom he fears growing old. Just like how the hotel showed decay. This is important because it shows that Jack is scared of his past/future. Jack eventually tries to kill his family, but he is trapped in the basement when the boiler explodes killing him. The hotel makes one last attempt to possess Hallorann, but he resists and leads Danny and Wendy to safety.

In Beloved, we are introduced to Sethe, a former slave, who lives in Cincinnati with her daughter, Denver, and her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs. She has been outlawed in her community for killing her child, Beloved. She did this to keep her child from going into slavery and being assaulted. Full of a baby’s venom Within the house, Beloved causes Sethe to remember more and more of her painful past. The novel follows Sethe’s stream of consciousness as Sethe maintains that her killing her child was an act of love. Seth believes that Beloved is the returned spirit of her dead child. As news spreads of Beloved’s strange presence in 124, a group of women joins together to rescue Sethe and Denver from her. After Beloved’s departure, 124 seems to become a normal household. The Site has mostly lost her mind, but Denver is working and learning, hoping one day to attend college. Paul D returns to 124 and promises to always care for Sethe. The inhabitants of 124 and the surrounding community gradually forget about Beloved entirely, even those who saw and talked to her.

The mental and emotional wound takes a long time to be healed compared to the physical scars. Some things go. Pass on. Some things just stay. I used to think it was my rememory…. Places, places are still there. Throughout the novel, it is depicted that most of the characters suffer from the painful past and they try hard to recover from it. They attempt to forget better part of the past and want to cherish only some bits of sweet memories. Beloved is Sethe’s past which haunts her now, and she cannot deny her past. She had killed her daughter as an act of protection and now Sethe has to justify her dreadful deed to her ghost daughter. Even if she wants to keep herself away from the bitter past, her past appears in front of her. It is her past crime because of which she is boycotted from the society, she is fired from the job, and she has to afford herself in the service of the ghost child. Her past trauma comes to the surface. She feels that she can get rid of the past responsibility of a mother by feeding her ghost child, Beloved.

In the novel, the past has a central role, excavating the turbulent slavery in America. Sethe’s inability of avoiding the past indicates the powerful impression of the past in the lives of the slaves. At the end of the novel, her painful past, Beloved is forgotten which symbolically stands for the end of the torturous past and the beginning of the hopeful future. This Sethe learned the profound satisfaction Beloved got from storytelling. It amazed Sethe… because every mention of her past life hurt.


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Memories Are What Always With Us. (2019, Dec 14). Retrieved from

Memories Are What Always With Us
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