The Ingenuity of Narrative in Memento
Narration, simply put, is telling stories. However, the way movies narrate tales is not like that of novels developing plot in words or drama unfolding in stage space, but has its own special method for narrative - moving images. In Memento, through its unique nonlinear narrative structure and intense structure contradiction, the motifs of memory, self-deception and revenge and the philosophical exploration of existential angst are demonstrated in an elaborate and subtle way.
Memento narrative structure narrative contradiction
Memento recounts the story of Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia, who distorts his own memory to deny the harsh reality in a both conscious and unconscious way. Living in a world full of lies fabricated by himself, the ill-fated protagonist makes the very principle of his life consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of the revenge for his wife’s death which is actually caused by himself. In Memento, the splendid way of narration gives audience not only indelible psychological experience, but also a test on their ratiocination. Below is the analysis of narrative advantages in Memento from aspects of narrative structure and narrative impetus, compared with novels and dramas.
Narrative structure is the structural framework that underlies the order and manner in which a narrative is presented to a reader, listener, or viewer. Compared with novels, movies generate more intense mental penetrating power and stronger artistic appeal by employing its unique cinematic art - montage. By effectively employing this technique in the movie, <Memento> unrolls a soul-stirring and thought-provoking story before audience’s eyes. Through skilled editing, the movie makes audience a puzzle and gives them an emotional experience of the insecure state of mind Leonard’s disease causes in him.
The narrative structure of...