History and Memory


History is not an indisputable collection of absolute truths. History is enjoyed as the documentation of the past, still there can usually be contrasting perspectives and interpretations of any 1 event. In purchase to really know the past, we should fuse our knowledge of recorded evidence with all the individual experiences and memories that fill the gaps left by history. These concepts are effectively portrayed in Mark Bakers work The Fiftieth Gate, an exploration of the ability of history to validate memory and the energy of traumatic experiences in shaping a person’s existence. Memory and Witness, Jerry Fowlers interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel not just deals with all the character of remembrance in history, but issues its dependability.

History and memory have an innate and complex bond; 1 cannot exist without the additional. Memory forms the basis of history, whereas history is selected to explain the fragmented and usually selective aspects of memory. In this means, throughout The Fiftieth Gate Baker delves into his parent’s past and utilizes his historic resources to confirm their experiences. As the text progresses, we are shown that both concepts have their flaws. Through the juxtaposition of his father’s shared experience with his mother’s miraculous lone survival “His was a previous created on a page of history shared by different survivors. My mom couldn’t point to anyone” (pg 136), we are shown that Baker favours the exactness of history over the indistinct and evasive nature of memory. Conversely, later in the chapter history is characterised as cold and colourless “What are these papers anyway except echoes of the past, dark shadows without screams, without smells, without fear” (pg 138). The utilize of accumulation and repetition of “without” emphasises that among the important faults of history is its deficiency of emotion.

Although Memory and Witness is an completely different text kind, it manages to be equally lucrative in questioning the accuracy of memory. Elie Wiesel asserts it is our responsibility to “bear witness”, that is, to tell the truth. He uses rhetorical query and inclusive code when asked why we should remember the truth “If we are not bearers of truth, then what are we?” This has the impact of connecting with all the audience and empowering them to analyze their own authenticity in recalling. Additionally to the, he concludes it is inherent in the human psyche to “lower the truth to comfort”. This use of the bad tone of voice is essential in the representation of fictitious remembrance as destructive.

The preservation of the past through both individual remember of earlier experiences, and the documentation of these experiences as evidence, is without question indispensable to humanity. Despite this, it’s not constantly a positive feeling. In The Fiftieth Gate we see that the traumatic nature of an event including the Holocaust has a durable impact on its surviving victims. Baker uses sensory imagery in his memoir in purchase to present memories to be fact, as opposed to the usually meaningless impression provided by history, and to show the eternal force of memories of individual experiences; “Can you hear, or do the screams within the mass grave drown out the sounds and melodies of Wierzbnik in its innocence?” (pg 59). The damaging connotations of the extract are repeated later in the text “Jews never remember with mirrors but cover them with a fabric during the initial 7 days after death; as if what we see in our reflection is what we are.” (pg 114). This really is a prime illustration of collective memory, and the integration of the past into the life-style of the present. Baker utilizes metaphoric code here to present the visitors with an underlying theme in The Fiftieth Gate; that searching into oneself is to look into the past.

The Fiftieth Gate and the interview Memory and Witness is watched to share a synonymous theme; the function of memory in history. A further parallel to Baker’s autobiographical research is the realisation of the value memory to be its capability to humanize, or as Wiesel articulates, “…humanize history, humanize destiny, humanize humanity…we are responsible for it and to it”. When again our interviewee utilizes repetition, in this case to associate history with destiny and humanity. This has the impact of suggesting that history is an key piece of the human experience. Additionally, through the discussion of anti-Semitism, Fowler and Wiesel come to focus found on the fake document called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. In his reasoning of the “historic prop” to be false, Wiesel claims that “Some lies have a lengthy lifetime because there are some persons who believe in it.”  Here he utilizes the literary device of personification to characterise “lies” as enduring just if we remember them as truth. This really is additionally an exploration of the energy of collective memory, that is really what history becomes.

Through the examination of individual experience, memory and recorded evidence, it may be concluded that each individual aspect is a fundamental component in a complex relationship. Each 1 has its own particular part, be it to personalise history or to validate memory. These issues is effectively conveyed in the representation of the historically extensive event like ‘The Holocaust’. Through the analysis of code and stylistic devices in Mark Baker’s The Fiftieth Gate and the interview between Jerry Fowler and Elie Wiesel Memory and Witness, the durable impact of the traumatic incident is revealed.

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