Leonard Shelby: Anterograde Amnesia Essay
Leonard Shelby: Anterograde Amnesia Leonard Shelby suffers from anterograde amnesia, after being struck on the back of his head and left unconscious. Now, he can no longer create new memories and the last thing he remembers clearly is the accident. Leonard relives the situation on many occasions; a flash bulb memory. Leonard can remember the various sensations that went on during that time, Such as the loud noise, her side of the bed being cold, and then moment he shot the “killer” he witnessed strangling his wife, and then finally when he was struck on the back of the head by the other man in the room, leaving him nconscious. Leonard can recall the various sensations with all five senses of what went on that moment until the point where he was left unconscious. Mnemonic Devices In order to cope with not being able to create new memories, Leonard uses various mnemonic devices to jog his memory of various people and significant things. A mnemonic device is something used to help an individual remember something. Tattoos One of his mnemonic devices consist of the tattoos he has all over his body such as “John G. raped and killed my wife” and “Remember Sammy Jankis”.
Whenever he looks in the mirror or directly at them, they are there and he is reminded of the meaning behind them. Polaroid Pictures Another system he uses is his Polaroid pictures. He carries them everywhere and on each picture written in pen and all capital letters, he writes down what he needs to know about that person or place; such as people’s names and how he knows them, and whether they are trustworthy or not. Leonard also uses a map, that he keeps above his bed in the hotel, as guide to get around town and to help jog his memory of certain things.
This can be compared to a cognitive map that also acts as an aid to latent learning; while Leonard is viewing the map it helps him remember important things he had done earlier. Misinformation Effect The misinformation effect is a memory bias when misinformation effects one’s reports or their own memory. There are multiple examples of this in Leonard’s case. Clerk One of which consists of when the motel clerk changes his rooms and tells him that the room he was previously in wasn’t his. In doing so the clerk took advantage of Leonard’s condition and charged him for two rooms. Natalie
Natalie is an extremely manipulative person whom which she manipulates him frequently by making him believe she is in fact helping him, but in retrospect she is really using him for her own personal issues and motives. At one point she deliberately bad mouths his wife, and in return he punches her. She then gets up and leaves. But before she walked out she took away all the pens, and due to the fact he couldn’t maintain focus, he quickly forgot what just happened. When Natalie came back from outside, he asks what occurred and why she was beaten up, and she replies that Dodd did it to her (a plan of hers).
Sammy Jankis and Wife’s Murder Sammy Jankis is a fictional character of Leonard’s creation. He constructs these false memories of this man and what went on truly between Leonard and his wife. “John G. ” is a fake name that he believes to have killed his wife. He did this so he would think it was someone else that killed his wife and not Leonard himself. Sammy Jenkins was a false memory that gave Leonard reason to keep living. Leonard did not want to remember what he did to his wife, so he created false memories in order to look for the killer.
His friend, and cop, Teddy told Leonard that it was in fact Leonard who killed his own wife. Leonard did want to believe this so he wrote on Teddy’s Polaroid picture “Do not trust his lies” (example of misinformation). Leonard’s wife was in fact diabetic, like Sammy Jankis’s wife, and he gave her too much insulin which lead to a diabetic coma and killed her. Leonard created Sammy to simply shun the truth and work on ensuring revenge for his wife. After killing Jimmy Grantz (Natalie’s boyfriend), Leonard burns the photos of what he did and records the license plate of another “John G. ” – who is in fact is friend Teddy. Teddy was only the name by which his mother called him and he was another “John G. ” name . In conclusion, Sammy Jankis is actually a fictional character, who directly translates to Leonard. He is only a figment of his imagination used to shun away what truly occurred in the murder of his wife. It was not a “John G. ”, it was Leonard himself who overdosed his wife on insulin. Natalie manipulated Leonard into believing it was a “John G. ” who killed his wife and used him for her own motives. Teddy reveals that the fictional case of Sammy is the non-fictional case of Leonard.