Shopenhauer's theories and their significance in the film Memento

Essay by WaitingxRoomHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2008

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The film Memento is a perfect example and evidence of Schopenhauer's philosophy and ideas. However, towards the end, arguments against some of the points Schopenhauer makes are raised and 'proved' by the main character. However, the argument itself-let alone the way it's proved- is very debatable. This I will discuss later in this essay. Meanwhile, I would like to present the deeper foundation of this film- Arthur Schopenhauer.

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur SchopenhauerSchopenhauer states that in some aspects, the world is will, in other aspects, it is idea. These two parts of his philosophy are what the film is trying to overcome. Both are fairly obvious. Firstly, I would like to discuss will.

Will is of great significance- in the film and in Schopenhauer's philosophy. Will is the only thing that keeps the main character, Lenny, alive and going.

It does not matter who he killed, it doesn't matter whether the person that supposedly killed his wife is alive or dead. Nor does it matter whether Lenny's actions have any significance whatsoever. Will, the pursuit of a goal is the only thing that matters indeed.

Lenny has no short term memory. This means that basically no new memories can be 'written down' in his head, as it is the short term memories that become long term memories. He does, however, recall what happened before the incident that caused him to lose memory- his wife being killed by a man named John G. This is enough to give him a reason to go on living, his will- killing the murder and revenging his wife. In the end of the film, it becomes clear that even if there was such man,