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Gothic Tradition

English 102 / Paper #3: Memento and more ____________________________________________________________________________________ For this paper you will write on ONE of the following topics pertaining texts positioned within the Gothic tradition. Make sure you have a strong thesis statement, and that you elaborate in detail utilizing specific examples (and quotes) from your chosen “texts.” Your paper must be Three full pages minimum (4 -5 pages), double-spaced, typed, using correct MLA documentation guidelines. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Topic 1: The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard states, “Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood in reverse.” In her article about Memento, “Piecing Together a Troubling World,” Esther M. Sternberg suggests that: “through [Lenny] we learn how important memory is to the self. The plot, the dialogue, and the very way the movie is filmed all implicitly and explicitly expose the different kinds of memory that we take for granted, unless they are suddenly lost” (1). For Leonard in Memento, his life revolves around specific “kinds of memory,” particularly poignant events from his past that determines his future and his rite of passage. In your essay: • Discuss Leonard’s important memories and how they inform and affect his life. • What is ultimately ironic about these memories in terms of how he interprets them? Topic 2: The Haunting Past • How is Leonard Shelby haunted by the past? • How does his ritual connect with his haunting memory? • What does he do as a result? • How has the haunting past transformed him? Topic 3: Gothic Detectives: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Past Using Arthur Kipps from the novel/film The Woman in Black and Leonard Shelby from Memento, discuss the following: • How do the protagonists investigate issues from the past that may be haunting them and others? What are key components of their searching? • What are the results of their investigations? • In which text is this search ultimately the most ironic?

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