History and Memory, Yr 12 Hsc

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History and memory does generate compelling and unexpected insights, and this is explicitly conveyed and explored in the Smithsonian website created by the American government, as well as in How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’Brien. History is the compilation of events and peoples perspective in events, all meshed up into a montage to create a definitive account of events. Both texts demonstrate the fact that history and memory are directly linked, and memories of history are perceptions tainted an emotional aspect. Ultimately history and memory are conveyed as existing in an intrinsic relationship that compose both collective and individual experiences.

The Smithsonian website created by the American government shows a compelling selection of objects, images and personal stories from the events of September 11 for the public to view at any time on the internet. The Smithsonian website was designed to show the American perspective and what the Americans think happened on the day of September 11. The images and objects are considered to be the indisputable facts, whereas the personal stories are written by individual people that have memories of the events that took place on that day. These memories can be very biased depending on the individual self, religion or culture. This bias recount of an individual’s memory of the event is published and considered to be factual history. Memory can affect history and change the way it is perceived by other people which is distortion of the truth. An example of this is “when the public institution of the Australian War Memorial tries to outline its perspectives they incorporate political baggage”. This is because the government shows what it wants to the public, this is “the message they want to promote”. Consequently the content of this website is left of centre and unseen to most viewers, giving the audience a compelling and unexpected insight into the event that was 9/11.
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