22nd April 2024

“The Lost Mariner” (Year 1, Gr. 1)

ENGLISH FOR PSYCHOLOGY Forums Neuropsychology “The Lost Mariner” (Year 1, Gr. 1)

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    • #4522
      admin
      Keymaster

      Discuss the essay in the context of Luis Buñuel’s quote: “You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all…. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing….”

    • #4529
      admin
      Keymaster

      Hello everyone. Let’s start our discussion.

      • #4539
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        In the essay the author lists many examples of cases both confirming and questioning Buñuel’s sentence, discussing mainly the case of Jimmie G., which, at the first glance proves that “life without memory is no life at all”, but actually shows that there is more to life than remembering the past or even the present. After losing a big part of his memory and the ability to remember any recent events Jimmie was disoriented, confused and even delusional – thinking he was 19, when in reality he was a man in his late fourties with gray hair. Even though he maintained his skills, like using Morse code and he was intelligent, great with puzzles etc., he didn’t feel like he was alive, he even said that he couldn’t feel anything at all. This would prove that “our memory is our reason, our feeling (…)”. But Jimmie, as the author writes, “found himself” in spiritual activities and he learned to enjoy life by engaging in gardening. He had a will to live, so even without his memory he wasn’t nothing.

        • #4587
          admin
          Keymaster

          I couldn’t agree more. Besides, he enjoyed gardening, which also “held” him.

    • #4531
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What we are is a collection of memories that determine our current and future activities. Without memory we don’t know what we like and dislike. Man learns how to live through experience. The lack of memory of these experiences and their effects means that they are just meaningless to our being. By noticing the slow loss of pieces of our memory, we begin to appreciate how it gives validity to our life. The essay described the case of a man who felt the meaning of life and enjoyed it, but was not aware that his thoughts were stuck decades ago. He was not aware of what the world looks like nowadays and talking about it and seeing these changes made him terrified.

      • #4532
        admin
        Keymaster

        Hi Julia! Do you think that Jimmie’s life was meaningless and not at all a life?

        • #4541
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Not completely. His entire life was based on memories that were important to him, and apparently he could live like that for decades. Nevertheless, in the context of Luis Buñuel’s quote I imagined my own memory loss. I am sentimental and both when I have a good and bad mood I love to recall my memories – childhood, travels, conversations with people I met and many more. If I was aware of that I was losing everything slowly, it would be difficult for me to accept it. If I didn’t know that I got stuck in the olden days, like the Lost Mariner did, I could probably be happy just by the lack of awareness of that.

          • #4546
            admin
            Keymaster

            The author of this essay seemed to be of a similar opinion but later he changed it. Do you remember what made him do so?

            • #4576
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              The doctor went to watch Jimmy in the chapel, and saw him in a state of absolute spiritual attention. He realized then that not only memory and mental activity keep humanity completely, but we are also moral beings with feelings, will, sensibility.

              • #4590
                admin
                Keymaster

                Yes, this is what happened and I personally agree with it. Memory loss is horrible but at least you keep yourself as a person you once were.

    • #4533
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Our memory is a huge part of our identity, it’s the past that created us the way we are in the present and losing it is kind of like losing yourself as well. In the essay, Jimmie obviously had felt void and couldn’t decide if he enjoys life, because he had no recollection of his life (only until 1945, and glimpses of what happened later on). Although that is important, memory also is necessary in the present life, on how a person is functioning. It is so hard to do things on your own, take care of yourself when you keep forgetting things right away, I would risk to even say it’s impossible and dangerous. What if someone forgets to turn off the stove, or to pay the bills, feed the cat, take their medicine? Our memory is us in every single way possible.

      • #4535
        admin
        Keymaster

        Hi, Caroline. Am I right in thinking that you agree with Luis Buñue?

        • #4547
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Yes I fully agree, I would argue a little bit with the sentence “without it we are nothing” because there is always something in my opinion, even if we don’t remember ourselves we live in memories of other people so we are still something, but other than that I agree.

          • #4563
            admin
            Keymaster

            Yes, but he was still the person he used to be – with the same disposition, interests, likes and dislikes, etc. Besides, he was able to stay connected to something, even though it lasted more than a couple of minutes, like attending Mass, for instance.

            • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
    • #4537
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I fully agree with the statement that life without memory is no life at all and Jimmie’s case is a perfect example of it. He remembered only his childhood and growing up but it is unbelievable that he was a grown man and he couldn’t understand he is not a teenager anymore. The worst part is that he didn’t know who he truly was, what he has been doing for past thirty years and he didn’t even know that he doesn’t have his memory. Experience, memories, people make our lives and create who we are and what we live for, without remembering it life must be really sad and miserable.

      • #4540
        admin
        Keymaster

        Do you think that Jimmie’s life was only a miserable existence?

        • #4556
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Maybe not only and maybe not for him because he kept forgetting everything in about one minute but moments when he was aware of his situations must have been tough for him. Not recognizing people that expect you to know them must be also depressing.
          Good thing is that his memories from childhood were positive, his skills and intelligence showed that he was educated properly. The way that he is quoted in the essay doesn’t show that he was miserable, he seems to me like a smart maybe even cheerful guy (but not a grown man). I just can’t imagine how did he function on daily basis not being aware of who he truly was.

          • #4565
            admin
            Keymaster

            Why not a grown-up man? He might have though that he was a young adult, but his behaviour wasn’t immature.

            • #4574
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              I’m not saying he was immature or rude, maybe I used a wrong word but for example in this quote ‘Hiya, Doc!’ he said. ‘Nice morning! You want to talk to me— do I take this chair here?’ For me he is so cheerful,carefree and nice but I feel like middle aged people don’t say ‘Hiya Doc!” to the strangers, he acted like a young adult and that’s why I think this situation must have been strange for lots of people. The doctor knew him so his behavior wasn’t that shocking but strangers could see an old man acting like a teenager/young adult. As I said he was educated, he wasn’t rude, he wasn’t acting childish but young people have different behavior than adults so it could be some kind of a problem for someone or maybe someone could feel offended thinking that he was making fun of them.

              • #4594
                admin
                Keymaster

                Maybe you think that middle-aged people don’t say “Hiya or hi Doc” because you judge it from the perspective of a Polish speaker, who would never say “Cześć Doktorze/Doktorku” unless the doctor was his friend. In English it’s not that uncommon. In my opinion it only shows that he was a cheerful person.

    • #4543
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      As I personally consider my memory as a crucial part of life, it was not the case for Jimmie G. When he was admitted to
      Home for the Aged in 1975, he knew every little detail about his hometown, his days in the navy and even remembered the names of his shipmates. What was worrisome, was the fact that Jimmie could not recall anything that happened minutes or even seconds ago. Somehow he managed to live like this for years. During his sessions with the doctor, he became more anxious and frustrated with himself as he began to notice how many things he forgets. He could not differentiate between 1945 and 1975.
      Jimmie was not able to form any new memories and was often perplexed when seeing new objects in front of him. However, besides these difficulties, I would not say his life had no reason or deeper meaning. He felt at ease with himself and throughout the years made even little progress. He remained positive, despite the fact people were saying that “something was missing” in his life. As I somewhat find it true, that memories build our characters and are the base of our everyday life, Jimmie found joy in the little things; watching people outside the window or solving puzzles.

      • #4549
        admin
        Keymaster

        I see your point. Jimmie despite his severe limitations was able to get as much as possible out of his life, even though it was beyond his consciousness. There were moments and things that “held” him, made him connect with other people. I’m not sure, however, if solving puzzles is the best example of it.

    • #4548
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      People need memory to exist properly, without it we not only lose out identity but also ability to cooperate with others and with ourselves. Due to not remembering recent actions Jimmie was unable to take up a job. Every attempt to engage him with some activity, like puzzles, didn’t succeed. His life became meaningless except those precious moments during the gardening or taking part in the Mass when Jimmie felt like he still had a soul.

      • #4561
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I totally agree with you, but why do you think his life became meaningless? Do you think our life’s meaning depends only on our awareness, not maybe how others see us as well?

        • #4577
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I am confident that what matters most in one’s life is self-awareness. Without it we start do deny our identity, distance oneself from our friends and relatives and close up. Jimmie could still feel joy about little things like looking through the window, but those situations were totally meaningless, they were happening only in the present and were forgotten seconds after.

    • #4566
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Our memory is a huge part of our life. We experience things and we learn from them, we meet new people and create relationships whit with them. That’s what makes us who we are. Without the memory of those things our lives are meaningless. It seems like Jimmie’s life has stopped after he‘s lost he’s his memory because he didn’t know what was happening in his life or how he was feeling.

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
      • #4570
        admin
        Keymaster

        Pehaps you’re right. Alexnder Luria, a Russian neuropsychologist, wrote: “… man does not consist of memory alone. He has feeling, will, sensibility, and moral being”. In his view, a person is not only his memory. Jimmie had feelings, emotional life, will, sensibility and spirituality, which is best seen in chapel where he was focused, moved and “connected”, even though his short-term memory (STM) lasted no more than a couple of minutes.

    • #4571
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think that Luis Buñuel’s quote has some truth to it when you look at Jimmie’s case. His story sounds tragic and the fact that his condition “took away” years of his life from him in itself is something very saddening. What’s even more concerning is the fact that on top of not being able to recall his life after 1945, he was also not able to remember things that happened even seconds earlier. It sounds as if every day of his life was a completely separte experience from the rest of it. Not being able to recognize the hospital stuff or the place you’re currnetly in and having people tell you that the last memory you have is from many, many years ago must have been scary. Still, I really like how the essay ended on a more positive note. Jimmie might have never gotten back all the things he lost but humanlly and spirutually he found himself and proved that there’s more to life and experiencing it than just memory.

      • #4591
        admin
        Keymaster

        But he did learn to recognise some people just like learnt to navigate the facility without much problem.
        By the way, your response is very well written. Joanna, help me moderate this forum, please.

        • #4613
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          That’s true and I find this part very interesting. It proves that what Luria said about how “man does not consist of memory alone” is true and that feelings, moral and sensibility also have a big part in what makes a person themselves. Jimmie’s condition, depsite what’s been said by Luis Buñuel, didn’t make his life worhtless or “a no life at all”.

          As much as I wouldn’t mind helping with the forum, my current internet connection is very bad and I fear that I wouldn’t make a very good moderator. Also I just realized that by accident I joined a wrong thread and that I should be in the one made for the second group. I’m very sorry about the mistake.

          • #4615
            admin
            Keymaster

            I like Luria’s quote. If I didn’t know it was him who wrote it, I would say it might have been a philosopher or a priest. But it happened to be written by one of the greatest neuropsychologists of all time (in my humble opinion).

            What a bad luck! Don’t worry, though. Don’t worry about being in the wrong group either 🙂

            • #4618
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              It’s true that it sounds very nice and also makes Jimmie’s pretty grim situation seem more hopeful. Even though it was said in a context of his condition I think that it could be applayed applied to life in general.

              Thank you and I’ll continue to take part in this group’s disscussion for today then.

              • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
    • #4588
      admin
      Keymaster

      What made Jimmie lose his memory and what types of memory were affected by it?

      • #4599
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        The author wrote that Jimmie suffered from Korsakov’s syndrome, “a devastation of memory caused by alcoholic destruction of mammilary bodies”. Jimmie became a heavy drinker after he left the navy in 1965. The types of memory affected by the syndrome are long – term memory (episodic and autobiographic, I think) and short – term memory.

        • #4605
          admin
          Keymaster

          Episodic and autobiographical memory mean the same. But you’re right that episodic, being a subtype of long-term memory (LTM), was impaired along with short-term memory (STM). Do you know other subtypes of LTM?

          • #4612
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            Semantic memory, which stores facts, general knowledge, the meaning of words etc. and procedural memory, which is used for acquiring skills and performing actions.

      • #4604
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Jimmy suffered from Korsakov’s syndrome caused by years of heavy alcohol consumption. He lost his ability to create new memories, so it affected his short-term memory, but also Jimmie did not remember his later years in the navy, so in some way it also affected his long-term memory.

        • #4609
          admin
          Keymaster

          Indeed, his STM and LTM memory were affected. Do you know/remember the subtypes of LTM?

          • #4614
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            LTM is divided into implicit an explicit memory, and explicit (also called declarative) is then divided into episodic and semantic memory

            • #4617
              admin
              Keymaster

              Ok, what about implicit memory?

      • #4622
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Jimmie sufferd from a condition called Korsakov’s syndrome that effected his ability to make new memories. It was caused by him becoming a heavy drinker around 1965 and 1970. I think that it affected his long term as well as his short term memory.

        • #4625
          admin
          Keymaster

          Right, to know more about memory and its types and subtypes, please read this lesson.

    • #4627
      admin
      Keymaster

      Thank you for taking part in this discussion. I will send you a 2-week activity report together with a schedule for the next week.
      See you next Wednesday at the same time (11 o’clock). The topic is closed.
      Have a good day!

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