Empathizing with Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
As it was mentioned, in his work Alex Neill implies that the emotions we feel during either reading or watching fiction should be demarcated into two basic categories: empathy and sympathy. According to this concept “with sympathetic response, in feeling for another, one’s response need not reflect what the other is feeling, nor indeed does it depend on whether the other is feeling anything at all”. In contrast “in responding empathetically to another I come to share his feelings, to feel with him; if he is in an emotional state, to empathize with him is to experience the emotion(s) that he experiences” (Neill, 247). The further deep analysis of different cases of empathy-sympathy differentiation leads Neill to making an argument on the significance of the empathetic responses. According to his point of view, the empathetic responses occupy a significant place in our understanding of fiction, thus, while watching a fictional movie like our example, the audience should respond empathetically to the different situations in it.
The very first scenes of