“10th of December” and Memory Loss

George Saunder’s short story “10th of December” provides an interesting perspective into someone suffering from memory loss. One narrator, Don Eber, attempts suicide during the story because he is terminally ill and no treatment has worked. He sees his death as inevitable and fears what will happen to him before he dies. His stepfather went through a similar disease, and Don watched as the man he loved faded away as his stepfather’s mind deteriorated further. Don is already suffering similar symptoms, forgetting certain words, parts of his life, and almost his own name. Don wishes to commit suicide to spare his family the pain he felt watching his stepfather die. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have incredibly painful effects on those suffering it. This story stuck out to me because I’ve seen how memory loss can affect people. I also understand the fear about whether something like that could happen to yourself. Forgetting who you are is a terrifying idea.

One thought on ““10th of December” and Memory Loss

  1. Ma'ayan K

    I agree that forgetting who you are is terrifying to think about and am glad you wrote about Don’s fear and reasoning, as I didn’t fully explore this aspect of the story when I read it.

    Like

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