Its Not Finished,, , but My Speech on "Reflect Upon How Your Understanding of Representation, History and Memory Has Been Shaped by This Elective'

1169 Words Jul 30th, 2012 5 Pages
Speech – Reflection on History and Memory
Throughout time, perspectives of history and memory have changed. They have been moulded by the events of our time as well as the texts and we read. The question of what is history and memory is being raised. Is it a scholarly discipline that claims to record the truth vs. a cognitive faculty coloured by trauma and emotion? To me history is represented as official memory of the winning side. As a result, it is very subjective, selective, bias and with multiple gaps and silences. Once we are able to understand how history and memory have been presented to us, though a wide range of text types as well as our own knowledge of events represented in the text then we are able to more deeply and with
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The underdog status is evident in the contrasting weaponry ‘shaking scythes at cannon’, a metaphor between the conflicting narratives of personal vs. official memory.

Similarly John Boyne’s novel “The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” is also a text that has been shaped by the events throughout history. It is a representation of the story of the son of a Nazi commandant. While the story touches on the theme of Nazi Germany the story plot focuses on the friendship of Bruno, the commandants’ son and Shmuel, a young boy in a Jewish concentration camp. To people that do not understand the holocaust, such as myself, the plot can be seen as highly improbable and gives credence to the defence that people did not, and could not, know what was happening within the death camps. The representation of Bruno innocence comes to stand for the wilful refusal of all adult Germans to see what was going on under their noses. The novel explores the beauty of a child’s innocence in a time of war, a common desire we all have for friendship and the fences – both literal and figurative – that we must all navigate and choose whether or not to break down.

The Smithsonian September 11 Website, “Bearing Witness to History” is a representation of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Centre. While it is a website including history and memory, it does not provide a history of the

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