History and Memory

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MODULE C – History and Memory
The Fiftieth Gate by Mark Baker suggests that a combination of history and memory is essential in making meaning, i.e. in shaping perceptions of the world around us. How does baker represent this combination to create meaning?

History can be viewed as a sequential series of indisputable events, whereas memory is of such events that are highly subjective, and affect the way in which they are perceived. The link between history and memory and the way it shapes the world around us, is a component of past and present. We are shown this throughout the prescribed text, The Fiftieth Gate, where through bakers quest we see the past continually impacting on the present, as the memories of the past affect those who have endured it. This key concept is also represented in the Channel Seven documentary, ‘Zero Hour- Disaster at Chernobyl’ and ‘Anzac Day commemorative Issue’, released by the Bulletin, 26th April 2005. All three texts show the affects of history and memory that has subsequently altered perspective on life, “History begins with its memories”.

Within the prescribed text, the composer, Mark Baker, conveys how history and memory help shape the way we perceive things in our own world. Bakers search for identity throughout the book adds depth to the meanings that are communicated to the responder. The audience understands that are the beginning of his journey, Baker is metaphorically in the dark about his parent’s identity, “it always begins in blackness, until the first light illuminates the hidden fragment of memory”. Baker discusses the dark and light nature of his parent’s memories and hoe these memories have affected him throughout his existence, “And I sing them to: sleep my dear parents but do not dream, tomorrow your children will shed your tears, tuck your memories in bed and say goodnight”. Through imagery, Baker represents how the Holocaust experience has helped shape himself, his family and its habits and traditions,...
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