An individual’s past memories play a tremendous role in the making of the person they are today and the person who they will become in the future. This idea closely relates to the theme of “Blue Against White” because the protagonist Lena is also highly influenced by her memories and experiences. The short story “Blue Against White” focuses on the flashbacks and memories of the protagonist Lena. The main character had always wanted to fit in with the rest of the world and hated standing out. The desire of wanting to fit in pushed Lena to move out to the city where she later learnt that she did not belong there either. The main character Lena, has flashbacks of many moments in her life, including her parents who play an important role in her life and in her memories. Not only do these past memories affect her in the present, but also her future and how she reacts to situations that she faces. Along with the impact on Lena’s relationships and experiences, her past memories also give her a deeper understanding of the world around her. Jeannette C. Armstrong’s short story demontrates that the past memories that an individual has is highly influential on an individual’s life.
Past memories can often influence the way an individual perceives their current situation. This also occurs in this short story where Lena faces different situations in her present, but then she thinks about her past memories which gives her a different opinion about the situation. An example of this occurring is when Lena was thinking about her blue door and how she wished that is was white just like the rest of the houses in the reserve “She remembered hating that door”. Her memories affected the way she looked and felt about that blue door. Another example of one’s past memories affecting their present situation is when Lena came back to the reserve and met a group of dogs, and thought back to the places she travelled to where dogs were not allowed to roam free like they do in the reserve. “Dogs don’t just walk around free there, you know. You’re pretty lucky to be here” said Lena. The third example of past memories affecting an individuals view on their current situation is when Lena sees her home and the environment around it. Lena hated some parts of all the seasons because of the memories she had of them. “She had hated this dirt road and the mud in the spring and the dust in the summer, the ruts in the fall, and the ungraded snow in the winter”. A person’s memories do not only just affect people current situation but they also impact the situations that they have with other people and their relationships with them.
An individual’s past memories can also impact their relationships with others. One example of this taking place is the significance of Lena’s mother in her life as she says “She had always thought of it as her mother’s house rather than her father’s”. This quote shows how although the house was wasn’t her mothers, she had always referred to it as it was. The impact of the memories of Lena’s mother are evident and reminds her of their relationship. Another example of one’s memories impacting their relationship is with Lena and her father. “He was right, but there was a question that had been silent, Who would have a problem?”. Lena did not fully understand her father and the decisions he made but she still had faith that he was right. The third example of memories affecting a person’s relationships is Lena’s relationship with animals. In the short story “Blue Against White” Lena meets a crow who only stays during the summer and leaves when fall start to come. Lena relates to this crow because she stayed when times were easy and left when times got tougher. It is not only important to keep good relationships with others, but also important to keep a good relationship with the world around you and get to understand it better.
An individual’s past experiences can help them understand things that they may not have understood without those experiences and memories. One example of an individual understanding an event due to past memories and experience is when Lena sees a coyote and remembers that there was a coyote in the news that was mistaken for a dog and let into an elevator. The coyote made it to the roof, then jumped to his death. Lena had not known why the coyote jumped but now looking back at it she realizes that the coyote had jumped because they were lonely and no one wanted to become friends with them. The second example of past experiences helping an individual understand an event is when Lena met the crow who would only stay in the warm summer but leave in the fall. This crow reminded Lena of herself because she had also left when times were hard but stayed when times were easier. The last example of this occurring is when Lena had understood the importance of her home and also realized that her home was the only place where she had no bad memories. “As she reached for the doorknob she looked down and realized that the freeway’s white line and the mud ruts ended here, right at her mother’s door” Lena said in relation to the fact that the negative memories she had ended once she reached her home and her long journey had come to a positive end. This idea along with many others demonstrates the impact of one’s memories on their life.
In Armstrong’s short story “Blue Against White” readers are taught that the memories and experiences of an individual’s past are highly significant in their lives. The memories of one’s past affects the way someone perceives a situation. it also has a big impact on your relationships with other people, and it also helps in the understanding of new events that occur in your life.