The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage - Essay Example

Lee Smith’s short story, The Happy Memories Club, is a poignant tale of aging. The story challenges our preconceived ideas about aging. The author uses the character of the protagonist and narrator, Alice Scully, to depict the life of a senior citizen in a retirement community. …
Download full paper
File format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.9% of users find it useful
The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage

Extract of sample The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage

Download file to see previous pages The Happy Memories Club is a telling account of Alice’s refusal to be stereotyped as a senior citizen, her adamant insistence on living life on her own terms, and her touching regret for the things she has left undone in life. Alice puts up a stiff resistance against conforming to the expectations of others regarding the behavior of a senior citizen. She protests the unfairness of the world which wants the old “to become children again, forgoing intelligence”. She considers this an insult. The physical limitation of being confined to a chair is less stifling to her than this atmosphere of treating the old as children of immature intellect. Her writing serves as a catharsis, giving her “new life and freedom”. With admirably sharp insight, she points out that people are uncomfortable when old people do not conform to the stereotypes drawn for them. Alice defiantly asserts that, contrary to expectations, the aged are still capable of “original ideas, intelligent insights, and intense feelings”. ...
She relates the rich details of her past life, including her father’s suicide, her own illicit love affair and the early death of her beloved younger sister. She has the courage to explore and accept the various facets of her life and personality with honesty, as opposed to the cowardice of those who “want us to never change, never change” (134). Alice exposes the conceit of the nurse who thinks she knows what is best for Dr. Solomon Marx. The nurse thinks his loss of memory of the Holocaust is a blessing for him, whereas Alice knows that memories are priceless at that age. They are all that remain of what were once the most important parts of one’s life. Similarly, Alice’s language and her teaching skills continue to remain important to her. Again, the nurses presumptuously put Solomon in front of the television, not bothering to find out that he hates it. The author clearly exposes the fallacy of the belief that the aged need to be told, like children, what is best for them. Alice Scully demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief about aging, it is possible for the old to live life on their own terms, and in accordance with their own, unique experiences in life. This is contrary to the popular perception that all aged people have the same needs. She protests the rigid expectations of the retirement home. Her poignant cry, “Now I expect some common decency and respect” (129), echoes the universal plea of the aged to be treated with compassion and understanding, and the freedom to make their own choices. She regrets that her call for personal freedom is termed “inappropriate” and “unmanageable” (119). Docile obedience is what is required of the aged. ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
StudentShare Professional Writing Service is the right decision for you! Only from $14,99/page for a 100% unique and relevant paper. Enter your email, choose essay type and get your personal 20% discount
on on expert writing!
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Happy Memories Club: Aging With Courage Essay)
“The Happy Memories Club: Aging With Courage Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Click to create a comment or rate a document

MORE SAMPLES OF TOPIC: "The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage"


.... We can examine courage on the level of the physical, psychological or spiritual yet in every layer there exists the essence of courage, which we will attempt to prove in this essay. Let us first look at the very definition of courage: "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty" (Mirriam-Webster dictionary). We take note of the words "mental" and "moral." This is the very difference between a simple act of survival in the face of danger and the decision to face the danger itself, whether physical or psychological (moral). According to numerous studies, the root fear of humanity is expulsion from society. We are social animals with a...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Read More…

Ordinary Courage

...Ordinary Courage: A Review of the Literature The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) is also known as the American War of Independence, and it was the military component to the American Revolution. Fought primarily between Great Britain and revolutionaries within thirteen British colonies in North America, the war began largely as a colonial revolt against the economic policies of the British Empire, and eventually widened far beyond North America, with France, Spain, and the Netherlands entering the war against Great Britain. The Continental Army was the unified command structure of the thirteen colonies fighting Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. The army was originally created on June 14, 1775, and most... ...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Read More…

Screen Memories

..., nightmares or other mental disorders and conditions. By talking to patients and sometimes putting them under hypnosis, psychoanalysts have helped to unravel many mysteries about people whose perception of who they are seem to be out of the norm from the rest of society. As discussed earlier, screen memories are used to project someone’s feelings but in a particular image depending on what the person feels towards the particular thing in the image. Screen memories have been useful in helping patients who were traumatized at early ages, but whose behaviors or state of minds are affected, though the cause has not always been clear. The human brain is so great that it tends to take...
3 Pages(750 words)Term Paper
Read More…


...Courage Task Courage Introduction People in the present society realize that they need to display courage to protect themselves from numerous instances. However, their view of courage results in several instances of immorality in their lives. This paper highlights Aristotle’s views on how courage is a virtue according to “Nicomachean Ethics”. In addition, the paper compares Aristotle’s analysis with the contemporary interpretation of courage by diverse individuals. Moreover, the paper includes a personal interpretation of the view of Aristotle on the matter of courage. Finally, answers to whether there is a similarity...
4 Pages(1000 words)Term Paper
Read More…

Real Courage

...Real Courage From the time I was young, my parents taught me to always be brave and do the right thing even if the odds were against me. My dad especially told me that being courageous was the only way through which I could go through life without many of the problems that plagued those people who did not have courage. For a long time, I did not witness any of the issues which required me to become courageous until one time while in middle school, I came face to face with a bully. My family had moved to a new town as a result of my dad’s work and I was enrolled in a new school. I am normally a very outgoing person and within a few days, I had made many friends, among who was Tim, who would eventually become my closest friend. Tim... was...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Read More…

Personal Courage

...Personal Courage Personal Courage Personal courage is the ability and strength that one has to overcome a challenging or difficult situation with steadfastness. Besides, it entails doing the moral and right thing when given the opportunity or chance to benefit themselves, by hurting another individual. It is both physical and moral (ability to face danger, fear or adversity (Alexander, 2012). For instance, it involves overcoming the fears of bodily harm to perform duty and act morally as one seeks to do what is right even when it is unpopular. Therefore, personal courage entails taking risk, facing fears and holding onto what is right. I have portrayed personal...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Read More…
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Happy Memories Club: Aging with Courage for FREE!

Contact Us