• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

History and Memory: The Fiftieth Gate. In Bakers The Fiftieth Gate (1999), the author attempts to create a balanced account of the past (i.e. One that is true, historically and emotionally relevant), while in Kimels poem, Do I Want to Remember?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The challenge of presenting a balanced representation of the past through the exploration of history and memory is dealt with very differently by the two composers Mark Baker and Alexander Kimel a direct result of their varying purposes. In Baker's The Fiftieth Gate (1999), the author attempts to create a balanced account of the past (i.e. One that is true, historically and emotionally relevant), while in Kimel's poem, "Do I Want to Remember?" (1989), the purpose is not so much in representing a balanced account of the past as it is a conscious decision to represent only the emotional and memory-oriented aspects of the past .To this end, the varying degrees to which the past is presented as balanced representations of history and memory is a direct result of the author's purpose: Baker's challenge being to accurately trace his parents' lives, Kimel's challenge being to record the emotional suffering of his father. The challenge of presenting a balanced representation of the past is combatted in Mark Baker's memoir The Fiftieth Gate by using both history and memory in conjunction" using one to vindicate the other. Baker's purpose is to broaden his understanding of the Australian survivors of the Holocaust by retracing his parents' lives during the Holocaust. ...read more.

Middle

His father Joe's memory is part of a collective whole, with the place names of Auschwitz and Treblinka metonymically serving to represent the shared memories of other survivors: "the next terrifying chapter jumped at him like a jack-in-the-box." Thus Baker suggests that memory requires historical validation to metaphorically release "the torrent whose flow went backwards into his darkest might." This metaphor serves to show the extent to which memory is an emotive force, Baker also using olfactory imagery in "pungent odour of fresh vomit and faeces" and aural imagery in "screaming sound of shots" to demonstrate the aspects of the past that historical record cannot present. Thus Baker deals with the challenge of presenting ag balanced representation of the past by amalgamating history and memory into one accurate representation of the past. This can be seen in the visit to Buchenwald with Joe, in which Joe's memory supplies some detail, while Baker's historical interjection provide other details. To this end, Joe provides the emotional responses ("a great noise. Hurrah!") while Baker verifies this with objective facts ("10:30am on 11 April 1945"). The triumph of truthful representation is presented in the Buchenwald Ball, where they "danc[ed], not there, but in spite of there, in defiance of then, in celebration of now, in memory of them." ...read more.

Conclusion

Very assured voice - Good focus on question Unfortunately, you begin Baker (after your treatment of the epigraph) most obscurely. The Pagis section is unclear and feels muddled/muddling. And its a rather minor way to start the text! This quickly gathers momentum, though and becomes far more effective Try to use the words "represent," "presentation" in conjunction with the specific "events," situations," "personalities" you're exploring in your examples Keep key words clear as part of your argument. Your second paragraph on Baker essentially ignores the idea of a "challenge." You end your treatment of the text in the next paragraph well. The poem is treated very well and the links to Baker are pertinent and illuminating. "Challenge" is lost. There appears to be no challenge for Kimel and this should have been stressed, further in relation to his thoughts about historical documentation/discourse. Would have gone 18 here -- got 17. ~~~ A thoughtful argument focussed on the question. Argument about Baker would have been even more sophisticated had you explored the spiritual dimension of the text a little more (you touch on it on p.1) A little more specificity about the connections between representation and meaning in the poem would also be nice. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. During the entire novel of The Sorrow of War Kien is on a quest ...

    despairingly hopeful: love before and after the war are almost two different things. Love before the war is pure and fresh. One cannot imagine any scenario under which it might deteriorate and every incident or word is deeply felt and heavy with sentiment.

  2. In the poem Carpet-weavers, Morocco by Carol Rumens, she uses figurative language and concrete ...

    The effect is that it shows that the children have nothing to do, and they probably come from a poor place since there is nothing to amuse them and watching that knot is the most interesting thing for them.

  1. In his poem, "Traveling through the Dark," William Stafford presents the reader with the ...

    Through his use of metaphor, symbolism, and personification, Stafford alludes to the difficult decisions that occur along the road of life, especially death, and the consequences that are a result from those decisions. With the use of these devices, Stafford shows the theme of death as a consequence of these decisions and reveals the conflict between humans and nature.

  2. How and why George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four used Winstons memory as the drive ...

    He believes that his mother and sister had died for him to which could never happen during his time. "Today there were fear, hatred and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows." (Orwell, 2008, p. 32)

  1. Inspired by "Of Mice and Men". An Account of what happened in Weed

    He stared back at the girl and sighed. He explained slowly "George said...I...I...can't tend the rabbits if I talk to anyone" "Rabbits" she declared "What rabbits, I don't see no rabbits" then she looked around in bewilderment. "You havin' me on?" she asked dubiously. "There ain't no rabbits round here".

  2. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?The roar of the sea, surprisingly enough, gave the infinite night that envoloped them a quality of frenzied serenity.?(p.159) 89. ?He stared down at the sea. Down beneath the spray,down beneath the whitecaps that beat themselves to pieces against the prow,there were the jet-black,invisible waves, twisting and coiling their bodies.

  1. The effect of historical allusions in the History Boys

    so far out of normal historical events that to attempt to discuss it would be monstrous. Bennett then presents us with the contrary view of Irwin, that the holocaust can be put into context, that it can be discussed, dissected.

  2. The Old English epic poem Beowulf demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon ideal of leadership as personified ...

    Beowulf is a better warrior than a king due to the commitment he made to his king and Hrothgar regarding the slaying of the fiend that agonizes the Danes. Like a good warrior, he is loyal to his king and takes pride in heightening his king?s glory.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work