Masterplots: DÃÂ©jÃ vu and Memories of Happiness
Once upon a time, at sometime and someplace in their life, everyone has probably felt truly happy, free and alive. If not, they at least have an idea of what happiness is supposed to be like. The unfortunate thing is that due to circumstances, as humans living within the restrictions of society, we rarely are able to achieve this state and instead spend our lives trying to recapture that one moment where and when we could feel truly content. Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain" and Ernest Hemingway's "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" as well as many other famous works of literature all share a common theme with this masterplot. The characters in these stories experience a pleasant feeling of dÃÂ©jÃ vu and are reminded of a happier, more perfect time in their lives.
Anyone who has ever taken a souvenir or vacation photograph can definitely relate to this idea, because these things are important specifically to help evoke pleasant memories.
Not only do objects help us to remember, but even more often our senses are the implements of dÃÂ©jÃ vu. Any sensation, whether sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch, can instantly bring back strong recollections and associations, whether good or bad. Naturally, the happiest memories are the ones that people like to dwell on, and when things aren't going so well, sometimes those memories are all that remain.
Utopian happiness is also a masterplot found throughout many stories. The popular fairy tale ending, "and they all lived happily ever after" gives fantastic closure, putting an end to any and all worries about the present or future. The desire for indefinite peace, love and happiness is something everyone can relate to. What happens in Hemingway and Proulx, however, shows that actually people...