Elycia SFA's Review 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'

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Elycia SFA's Review 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'

Post  ElyciaSFA on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:54 am

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Elycia SFA

In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I have chosen to discuss three Jungian Archetypes. In terms of Symbolic Archetypes, I have chosen Light v.s. Dark. For Situational Archetypes, I chose The Journey, and for Character Archetypes, I chose The Woman Figure-The Star-Crossed Lovers.

The movie itself is about two people, Joel and Clementine. After discovering that Clementine has erased Joel from her memory, he decides to erase her also. During the procedure, Joel realizes that he doesn’t want to erase Clementine after all, so he tries to take her to different memories so that he will remember her when he wakes up. The procedure itself begins at the erasing company’s office where the subject brings in everything that reminds them of who they are trying to erase. Then the eraser people make a brain map of memories and come to the subjects house and erases them while the subject is sedated.

Symbolic Archetype:
Jung says that “Light usually suggests hopes, renewal, or intellectual illumination; darkness implies the unknown, ignorance, or despair.” For the first Archetype, Light v.s. Dark, is represented by Joel’s initial anger and despair when he finds out that he has been erased from Clementine’s memory. The unknown ignorance comes from him not really understanding what happened and why Clementine erased him. When he finds out, he is in a state of disbelief. As the movie proceeds, his anger dissolves and he has an intellectual illumination, he realizes that he really doesn’t want to erase Clementine because although they fought a lot towards the end of their relationship, the majority of it was great.

Situational Archetype:
The Journey, according to Jung, “sends the hero in search of truth or information necessary to restore fertility to the kingdom. Usually the hero descends into a real or psychological hell and is forced to discover the blackest truths, quite often concerning his faults.” Joel is the hero in this case. His decision to erase Clementine seems like a good idea at the time but as he is going through his memories with her as they are being erased, his perspective changes drastically. The psychological hell he descends into comes to play when he realizes that he wants to keep his memories with Clementine, and throughout the memory erasing process, he has to deal with Clementine disappearing from his favorite memories of her again and again. Also, it is a physiological hell because he realizes he is in a situation that he has absolutely no control over. As much as he tries to wake up, or divert to other memories, he isn’t going to remember Clementine in the morning

Character Archetype:
The Woman Figure- The Star-Crossed Lovers is defined as “Two characters that are engaged in a love affair that is fated to end tragically for one or both due to the disapproval of the society, friends, or family or some tragic situation.” All of the sudden, it is fated to end tragically when Joel finds out that Clementine has erased him from her memory and she has no idea who he is. The tragic situation in this case is that while they are in Joel’s memories, they realize that everything is being erased. Clementine apologizes for erasing Joel and they try to stop the erasing process by running away to other memories from Joel’s past.

In conclusion, I love this movie very much and I hope that you all decide to watch it.
farao <----Its a pharaoh !

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Re: Elycia SFA's Review 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'

Post  IrisT on Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:59 pm

Elycia, I would just like to add some more situational archetypes. The actual act of erasing a person's memory could be considered a ritual. A person's place in society is determined by their memories - the relationships they formed, the events they experienced. When a person's memory is erased, they lose their initial position in society. The ritual of erasing one's memory provides a different role for the characters and mark their passage into another life.

Memory itself could be considered a magic weapon. Memories are personal and unique to each individual. No one is able to use another person's memory to its full potential.

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Post  Mr. C on Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:08 am

Elycia - great review/analysis. I loved the fact that you quoted and then provided an example from the film that demonstrated the quote. A textbook example. And great application of Light vs. Darkness with intellectual illumination and memory loss. And to add what Iris posted - not only coud the erasure of memory be a ritual (which it definitely is) it is also a death/rebirth archetype.

And great pharaoh!
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