Past HSC and Practice Questions for History and Memory
Analyze the ways history and memory generate compelling and unexpected insights
Representing an ‘absolute truth’ is impossible. Inherent human bias affects both history and memory. We unintentionally falsify parts of the past in order to emphasise the nature of past events we find central to our individual beliefs. Therefore we are challenged with obvious limitations in representing the ‘truth’. The interplay of history and memory however, leads to a rather satiable and tangible level of truth. Nonetheless, it is yet to be seen that this satisfiable level of truth will be riddled with bias as it is human nature to have an opinion/perspective that makes reconciling (accepting) memory and history a great challenge. Ultimately, this satiable level of truth creates compelling and unexpected insights into the past as assumptions that have previously been thought as true and views can change when face with uncertainty (or challenged by evidence). Mark Baker’s biographical novel The Fiftieth Gate highlights his confrontation with the terror of his parents’ childhood. Similarly, ‘Big Fish’ composed by Tim Burton which explores the strained relationship between a father and son both express the ways both history and memory generate compelling and unexpected insights. Individual’s often feel compelled to an empirical representation of past events, this is evident as Mark Baker, a man who predominately believes in precision and order which is conveyed as he “collects his memories in colour coded photo albums” so it is obvious that he has an assumption that History unlocks the past and contains all the answers in his search for the absolute truth. Furthermore, the confession that Mark “believed the soviet records more than his own mother” which was hard for the composer to accept, due to the fact that Mark feels compelled to believe the empirical representation of events rather than the figurative/ emotional...
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