The Relationship Between History And Memory English Literature Essay

Today, I have been asked to research the relationship between History and Memory, and the two texts I have chosen to help me in carry throughing this is undertaking is: The Fiftieth Gate by Mark Baker, and a commentary peice by a Holocaust subsister Edward Behrendt.

Diagramatic Representation:

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Traditional positions of history and memories

History | Memories

( Objective, | ( Subjective,

Accurate ) | Inaccurate )

In the simplists signifier of my thesis.

*Rub Line*

“ History and Memory are every bit of import and that it is through the merger of History and Memory by which we pertain ‘truth ‘ . ”

“ Truth… What is truth, Indeed we all have have different sentiments and it is a really controversial capable affair as truth is a multi-faceted construct. Therefore, I would non wish to dig into it and promote a philosophical argument, but ‘I ‘ would wish to infer what truth to truly is:

What is the truth?

Truth is simply a fact.

And what is a fact?

A fact is simply a statement agreed on by figures of authorization, faculty members and scientists likewise. Would you non hold?

So in short the truth is subjective. What we ‘ve accepted as history, is truly the a concept that gaurantees no truth, a coaction of statements that are by and large agreed on but non known for certain. If you ‘ve noticed the debatable issue here ; Which is why history is infact flawed and easy scrutinized, it is that history is blatantly null of any emotional dimensions, rendering a important factor in past, omitted.

An case, In The Fiftieth Gate ; Baker thirstily seeks the ‘Truth ‘ behind his parents ‘ narratives. He inquiries the cogency of their memory and continually cross-reference groundss, archives, ‘fecks, fecks ‘ and more ‘fecks ‘ . But finally these are merely books written onto peices of parchments, that do non convey to the audience the injury and desolation behind the Holocaust. Genia for one, is a premier illustration of this point.

Her experiences of the Holocaust were dissimilar from her hubby ‘s. Whilst many of his experiences were validated through corporate memory, many of hers were so personal. Many which were hard to turn out, particularly as the exclusive subsister of Bolszowce. [ Hence the audience perceives her narrative through an unwritten narration. ]

Genia had been badly traumatized in her childhood and in the old ages of concealment, which is manifest in her frights of lifts, houses with no Windowss, and closed infinites.

And her wont of maintaining all her apparels worn on particular occasions in her life, her intensive beauty modus operandis, and frenzied cleaning wonts all suggest how she ‘s counterbalancing for the things she lacked as a kid. This irrefutably delineates how history entirely, it is non plenty to reflect the harm it ‘s inflicted, particularly in the instance of persons like Genia.

“ Nightfall to me is sadness and darkness and I merely ca n’t unplug my yesteryear, you know, I ca n’t bury these minutes for every bit long as I live. ”

This is merely one extent, one facet of how history and memory, when interwoven, can animate a more thorough yesteryear. Alternatively, a more complete truth.


Another debatable concern is that memory is frequently seen as inferior to history as suggested non merely by this text, but it is besides as we know it a common political orientation in society.

Edward Behrendt, a subsister of the Holocaust and the composer of the text was concerned about the memories of subsisters continually being questioned, abashed and doubted by the ‘ ” intellectual/professional ” community ‘ seeking proof of their memories. Conversely, this could be compared to Baker ‘s action in The Fiftieth Gate, reflective of his initial compulsion and deficiency of credence of memory entirely. Behrendt uses the format of rhetorics to foreground his position on the issue and see the position that ‘survivors do non ever know the truth, and think instead than cognize what really happened ‘ as a awful impression. The tone of his remarks has rebelliousness similar to Genia ‘s when she defends her memories against her boy ‘s question. In defense mechanism of his memories, subsisters of the Holocaust, and their credibleness, he states “ I know and do non believe that I know that many of my household perished at the custodies of Germans/Nazis. I was at that place! “ Merely as Genia asked Mark during his inquiring, ‘how can you be so certain? were you there? ”

The usage of repeat of the words “ I know and do non believe that I know ” emphasises his sentiment that memory is non every bit undependable as the faculty members claim, but instead that it is certain and definite. Memory plays a polar function in history ‘because, if no-one proverb it.. did it truly go on? ‘ Anyway, Behrendt is inexorable about the cogency of memory and that it should non be questioned. This demonstrates how memory is every bit of import to history, and if these two entity are to be reconciled… society would hold a greater comprehension of the past and understand the construct that the merger of History and memory is truth. If non the absolute truth, so surely a more ‘complete ‘ one ( paradox I know ) .

Before I continue, I would wish to convey everything back to context.

Kogut ‘s girl asked Baker to, “ State me everything. He ne’er spoke about the war. It was excessively painful… But he ne’er spoke. All I have is one individual exposure from after his release ; but no memories. Please, state me. ”

So in decision, Mark Baker and Edward Behrendt both present history and memory as being every bit of import for remembering the yesteryear. Mindfully, this implies that one without the other is unequal. Through construction and nonliteral linguistic communication, Baker validates memory through his parent ‘s narratives, and conceives that the relationship between history and memory are built-in in order to distinguish it from simple facts and figures as sensed academic history. Edward Behrendt ‘s commentary supports the cogency of single and personal history as ‘lived ‘ experience. The relationship between history and memory is complex and intricate. Memory is the cardinal consolidative force of human individuality, while history records this force. Therefore, these texts suggest, history and memory are dependent on each other and are every bit valid.

( Conclusion? ) ( I would merely wish you to maintain this impression in head, that what the truth truly is, is the subjective sentiment of people, but finally it is the fusion of a mere fact with the emotional dimension of memories and cognition that allows us to light the greater illustrations. Thank you.

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