1. A Fortunate Life composed by A.B Facey is a reflection of a lifetime that most would hope to forget. In complete contrast Piano a poem written by D.H. Lawrence reveals the composers joyful emotions when remembering his childhood. What both texts represent is the concept that without memory the individual could not progress. A Fortunate Life represents this with Facey remembering abuse, poverty, and war yet 'it has been rich and full', being a powerful description of the progression of life, the good and the bad times, denoting that although not all memories are pleasurable they are significant to ones 'whole' life. Piano demonstrates this same concept. Memory affects the composer, as he says 'down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past'. The composer is in fact fixated with his past, which he yearns to remember as a way of moving ahead.
An aspect in which the texts completely differ in their analysis of remembrance is the need to remain obsessed with one's past. The difference between obsessed and using remembrance to progress is clearly demonstrated by the two texts. Facey remembers events but never lingers on the memories more then is necessary for his development. On the contrary the composer of Piano wants to dwell in his past, '...the heart of me weeps to belong...' the composer wants to remain in his reverie.
2. The texts The Longest Memory, Piano and A Fortunate Life present vastly different, and very similar ideas about remembrance. The Longest Memory shows that remembrance can have consequences. Negative memories can have adverse affects on the holder of such memories. One could expect that A Fortunate Life being the relation of a number of horrific events experienced by the composer could produce such negative affects. Although Facey remembers such events as 'experiences' and is keen to reflect on such experiences, which he describes as providing him with a 'rich' life. This is completely dissimilar to Whitechapel, as he himself states 'don't make me remember. I forget as hard as I can.' This is a clear indication that remembering negative events can have contrasting effects upon different people.
A Fortunate Life and The Longest Memory contain majority dissimilar concepts about remembering, however one concept is similar, people cant choose what they remember. Whitechapel and Facey alike remember the death of their wives' and how this negative memory causes sadness. This demonstrates that negative events are remembered regardless of if they are sought after or not.
The Longest Memory conveys a cynical view on remembering. Whitechapel did not view remembering as a means of self-satisfaction as does the composer of Piano, instead Whitechapel views remembering as a means of self-destruction. In The Longest Memory Whitechapel does his utmost to forget, 'memory is just pain trying to resurrect itself,' Whitechapel detested his great grand daughters' requests to hear the recollections of his past in Africa. In comparison the composer of Piano does his utmost to remember, 'I weep like a child for the past,' demonstrating the composers desire for more memories. The composer yearns for memories of his childhood to ease the longing for his past. This difference between the composers points out that whilst one may feel content by remembering others are negatively affected by such memories.
The Longest Memory includes accounts of a parent-child relationship. Similarly Piano also contains memories of this parent-child relationship. In Piano the composers longing for more memories of his mother and childhood become almost an obsession. The composer is unable accept that he needs to move on, 'I weep like a child for my past', weeping as result of the composers despair that the composer cannot remember all of his childhood. Dissimilarly Whitechapel feels despair as isn't able forget the painful memories of his son, 'memory hurts. Like crying', again a reference is made to crying an action brought about by one feeling futile. Both Whitechapel and Lawrence feel misery as a consequence of their memories' although the misery is felt for inverse reasons.
3. Composers manipulate the way one comprehends the consequences of remembering through numerous techniques. The Longest Memory alternates between writing styles giving different points of view. These different perspectives allow a deeper understanding of the consequences of remembering. A different approach is that used in A Fortunate Life where the composer makes use of colloquial language giving a sense of personal intimacy. In this way the reader is able to relate to the text just as the reader is provided with a similar intimacy through the powerful imagery in the poem Piano. In complete contrast to all of the prior mentioned techniques, Elie Wiesel in his text 'Listen to the Silent Screams' employs a great deal of rhetorical questions to confer his argument. This technique presents another perspective on the consequences of remembering. It will become apparent in the subsequent composition that various techniques are utilised by the composers in their texts to convey the consequences of remembering.
Fred D'Aguiar makes use of many different writing styles in The Longest Memory allowing the reader to obtain an understanding of the consequences of remembering. The composer opens the book with narrative, establishing a sense of relationship for the reader to Whitechapel. Such use of narrative provides a clearer understanding of the consequences of Whitechapel's memories throughout the entire novel. The reader is in touch with Whitechapel's pain when he relates such negative events as the rape of his wife and the murder of his son. Narrative gives the whole picture. It relays all of the significant events allowing the reader to understand the consequences of Whitechapel's great amount of memories. The reader feels emotions experienced when remembering events like the murder of his son. Narrative is an effective tool, as the reader is made aware of the serious effects of Whitechapels negative memories. As Whitechapels narrative unfolds so does the readers' understanding of the consequences of remembering as they discover the effects it has on Whitechapel.
A completely different writing style used by D'Aguiar is that of diary. The use of diary puts the reader on a personal level with the text. A sense of familiarity with the text allows an understanding of the emotions of the character to be established, in this case with the emotions of Sanders Senior. The confusion felt by Sanders senior when he asks himself 'what do I say to my son?' provides the reader with a reasonable idea of the consequences of his remembering. Similarly when he attempts to justify his raping of cook the consequences of remembering become evident. Sanders is unable to come to terms with what he has done so he continually tries to convince himself of his innocence. Most people feel confusion and attempt to justify one's actions with oneself, in this way the reader can relate to Sanders Senior when he remember these feelings in his diary. Other writing styles employed by D'Aguiar are poems, editorials and speeches that allow the reader to understand consequences of remembering such as pain and pleasure.
Similar to the creation of familiarity between the reader and the text in The Longest Memory via the writing style of diary, the technique of colloquialism used throughout A Fortunate Life allows the reader to effortlessly relate to the text. Facey uses colloquialism to minimise the effects of his negative memories. Although sadness is still felt by the reader as result of Faceys' negative memories due to the relationship for the reader to Facey the consequence isn't dwelled upon so as to cause deeper emotions such as sympathy. Through the use of colloquial language the reader senses that Facey is addressing him/her personally and directly.
This causes the reader to feel as if they were hearing a story rather the experiencing it. Facey possesses the artistic quality of a true storyteller, 'the loss of my lovely girl, my wife, has been a terrible shock to me.' This sentence contains negative memories, which causes sadness yet through Facey's use of colloquial language; 'my lovely girl,' the reader thinks of Facey's love and happiness that he shared with his wife rather then the sadness he felt due to her death. The reader understands that this event had an effect of Facey but also understands that Facey only remembered the event so he could move on.
In the same way as D'Aguiar created a sense of personal intimacy in The Longest Memory through different writing styles, Lawrence creates a similar relationship for the reader to the composer by means of imagery. Lawrence employs auditory imagery, specifically onomatopoeia such as 'boom' and 'tingling' to create the mood of the composer. This allows the reader to be able to relate to the composer and have a better understanding. Likewise Lawrence utilizes visual imagery such as; 'small poised feet,' to enable the reader to imagine the experiences of the composer. A person is better able to understand something that they have experienced. Imagery is an emotive device used by the composer to develop the relationship for the reader to the composer enabling the reader a better understanding of the emotions felt as a consequence of remembering.
Dissimilarly to D'Aguiar's approach of creating a connection for the reader to Whitechapel in The Longest Memory via narrative, Elie Wiesel makes use of rhetorical questions to present his argument. Wiesel wants to emote the reader through rhetorical questions with the intention to bring about the readers thought on the matter. As a result the reader develops an understanding and is able to absorb the consequences felt by the composer as result of his/her memories. Consequences such as anger and bitterness are understood, 'is it not true that all the victims were Jews. But all the Jews were victims'; such a statement brings about thought in the reader and subsequently enhanced understanding of such consequences.
As has been clearly demonstrated, composers shape readers emotions and understanding of events through different techniques such as the different writing styles used by D'Aguiar, the colloquial language employed by Facey, the imagery utilized by Lawrence and Wiesels's use of rhetoric. The consequences are better understood as result of the personal connections developed for the reader to the composer/character.