Mod C History&Memory Hsc

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The interplay between history and memory is a solipsistic act, where history inevitably relies on memory to maintain its vitality whereas memory relies on history to sustain its immortality. Throughout Mark Baker’s polyphonous non-fiction memoir, ”The Fiftieth Gate” and the thread like idea of the images below, memory is depicted as the panacea that enriches history as it provides diverse individual perspectives on the historical event of the holocaust. However, the biography also adduces the complications that memory might suffer, thereby revealing the inadequate omniscience of history. Baker envisages the conception of interweaving memories on elucidating historical evidence. In Gate 38, the fairy tale quality of this gate symbolises how memory can join with historical evidence to provide a more profound range of information. When Baker recites his dream to Genia, he uses the metaphor of “a river of wine” that has turned to “blood” representing the connection between an individual’s memory , in this case Baker’s memory of his childhood story, and detailed history of the Holocaust which the adult historian, Baker, had obviously studied. However, Genia recognised Baker’s dream as a childhood story book with a different ending. This representation demonstrates both how individual memories validate each other and how history is revealed through its interplay with memory. Baker further explores how memory provokes and vindicates history in his non-fiction biography. Typical of the whole memoir, gate 39 constitutes a multifarious types of textual forms portraying the ambiguity of history and its inability in unfolding the past’s conundrums without the aid of memory. Baker delineates this notion by examining the prewar historical document, his “most treasured photograph” of his family taken in 1946 stating that although“The photograph transcends time. There is nothing to suggest it is 1946” ergo illustrating the obstruction history faces in reaching the absolute...
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