What does the father mean when he says, " you forgot what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget ?" (12) suggest memories he is trying to keep, and sights or experiences he wishes he could forget about.
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Bad memories stick with you a long time. They are emotionally jarring and imprint into our brains. Perhaps they are cautionary tales or have just reshaped us into different people. In any case they remain with us. Happier memories are more transient. We seldom learn anything from them and they do not shape us in the same way as bad memories.