The Rememberer is a Metamorphous fictional story written in the first person narrative by Aimee Bender. The Rememberer is about Anne experiencing reverse evolution as she watched her lover gradually deteriorate from an irreversible disease said to be Alzheimer’s. It was her job to remember their past memories because Ben no longer was able to.
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Ben, Anne’s lover was always sad about the world. He said on his last human day, Annie, don’t you see? We’re all getting too smart. Our brains are getting bigger and bigger, and the world dries up and dies when there’s too much thought and not enough heart”. Anne uses reverse evolution to describe her lover’s transformation as his health gradually deteriorates from an irreversible disease with out a cure said to be Alzheimer’s. She describes Bens transformation as experiencing reverse evolution. Ben before his last human day as described by Anne was very intelligent but a sad man. On his last human day Ben did not want to talk he just wanted to look into Anne’s eyes and tell her things that way. He wanted to sleep outside for reasons unknown to Anne. When Anne woke up Bens transformation had started. He was an Ape with his same sad look. He seemed to understand feelings but was unable to communicate verbally. Anne at this point did not miss the human Ben. She wanted to take care of her lover like a son, or a pet. At this point she did not realize Ben was not coming back mentally. Anne seeks scientific information on an approximate time line of our evolution from an old biology teacher. According to him the whole process should take about a year. Anne sees Ben shedding a million years a day and believes he has less than a month left. A month later Ben has transformed into a sea turtle. “Ben,” Anne says to his small protruding head, “can you understand me?” Ben just stares with his eyes. Anne now realizing Ben is gone, she reviews memories to keep them in tact thinking it is her job to remember if Ben is not here. As she peers into the glass Ben now has transformed into a salamander. “Ben”, Anne whispers, “do you remember me?” Do you remember?” Ben is getting smaller and smaller. He is now bloated and brainless. Anne has reached her limit and decides to set Ben the salamander free in the ocean. Anne releases Ben knowing he is gone. Anne still holds hope. She keeps her eyes on the newspaper looking for a startled naked man who has washed up on the shore hoping one day Ben her lover will return back to her and remember.
Ben, Anne’s lover went from an intelligent man deteriorating gradually due to an irreversible disease. He went from an communicating both intellectually and emotionally to no communication at all. He became emotionless and brainless. Anne had said it was her job to remember the memories they shared because Ben was no longer able to remember. Alzheimer’s is a disease that like reverse revolution takes us from an adult back to a child to an infancy stage of life where we are no longer able to take care of ourselves.
Literature and Its Writers 5th edition, by Ann and Samuel Charters, The Rememberer 1988 pages 85-87
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