The story of Memento relates closely to the existentialist philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Frantz Fanon. This is also appropriate as Sartre was heavily influenced by Kant and pursued merging the duty-based ethics of Kant with existentialism. The act of killing Teddy may be the emancipation in itself, as it is Shelby's action that destroys the powerful force that he has been passive to for so long. After which Leonard emerges as a "new man" who has taken charge of his life and has purged himself of the "bad faith". The paradox of this relationship being the comfort and security of it, but also the turmoil and horror that is innate to the relationship. However, it could be argued that the emancipation Leonard achieved by killing Teddy was set in motion when he first wrote down Teddy's license plate, in the film's conclusion and the story's beginning, and in that sense it was that action, not killing John G, which was truly authentic.