Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Quotes and Analysis "What can I say, Joel? You know Clementine. She's like that. She's ... impulsive. She decided to erase you almost as a lark." - Carrie, 00:27:38 One of the first things Joel reveals about himself is that he is not impulsive (he says this when he has a strange desire to run off to Montauk). One of the first things we learn about Clementine is that she is impulsive. She acts on her anger towards Joel and erases him from her memory, without stopping to think about the effect this will have on her life. She ends up feeling aimless and lost. Joel, who has clearly been effected by Clementine's spontaneity, decides to do the same thing, as a reaction to his hurt. However, these tandem impulses end up driving Joel and Clementine back together because even though they are gone from each other's minds, they remain in each other's hearts. "Now, the first thing we need you to do, Mr. Barish, is go to home and collect everything you own that has some association with Clementine. Anything. We'll use these items to create a map of Clementine in your brain, okay? So we'll need photos, clothing, gifts, books she may have bought you, CDs you may have bought together. Journal entries. You want to empty your home, you want to empty your life, of Clementine." - Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, 00:28:23 Dr. Mierzwiak equates Joel emptying his home of Clementine to Joel emptying his life of Clementine, which is the inherent problem with his procedure. Although it is easy for Joel to grab all of the physical objects that remind him of Clementine and throw them in a garbage bag, it is not quite so easy for Dr. Mierzwiak and his team to erase Clementine from Joel's mind. He fights the procedure as best he can. Even though he fails to stop the procedure, Joel and Clementine make a subconscious pact to meet in Montauk. This promise exists on a higher plane than journal entries or CDs. There is something that will keep driving them together, despite the eradication of any physical evidence. "Look at it out here! It's all falling apart. I'm erasing you, and I'm happy! You did it to me first. I can't believe you did this to me. Clem! Did you hear me? By morning, you'll be gone! The perfect ending to this piece of shit story!"
- Joel Barish, 00:38:39 This is the root of Joel's decision to erase Clementine. She is impulsive and erased Joel because she was angry with him, and he then did it out of hurt and spite. However, as his memories start to crumble and fade, he realizes that he's made a mistake. There are moments of contentment and happiness that Joel cherishes, and he can only see them when the "piece of shit story" has melted away into Dr. Mierzwiak's machines. He screams that he is happy, which he is clearly not. In comparison, Joel tells Clementine that he is perfectly content when they are lying on the Charles River together (for the first time) - but unfortunately, this beautiful moment is flushed away with the hurtful ones.
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- Winter '15
- English, Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clementine, Clementine. Joel