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

Critical Analysis: Walking Since Daybreak. As a text rich with examples of postmodern and post-colonial writing, Modris Eksteins' Walking Since Daybreak is a wonderfully layered account with which one can attempt to prove Kellner's main point.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critical Analysis: Walking Since Daybreak In his short piece, Language and Historical Representation, Hans Kellner begins by writing "Get the Story Crooked!"1 By this, he implies that there is no single 'straight' way of telling history and that the long-standing and conventionally accepted belief of the perceived 'straightness' of historical discourse is simply groundless. As a text rich with examples of postmodern and post-colonial writing, Modris Eksteins' Walking Since Daybreak is a wonderfully layered account with which one can attempt to prove Kellner's main point. Employing a unique non-linear narrative structure, the book moves from place to place and time period to time period with great (if at times a little disorienting) frequency. And unlike many historical accounts, memory- through the use of letters, journal entries and stories passed down from generation to generation- is a key source in the telling of this particular tale. Thus, the purpose of the essay will be to use these (as well as a few other) points to help argue for the 'crookedness' of this particular text. Eksteins' philosophy on the nature of modern history is made clear from the outset: Gone are the pre-1945 notions of agents, victors and causation.2 If historians were quick to proclaim victors after the end of the war, he certainly doesn't. ...read more.

Middle

artillery fire mere feet from the refugees' and Displaced Persons' bomb shelters- this is what it was like to be on the 'borders' of warfare, as he so aptly puts it. More subtly however is the use of his grandmothers' character to portray this sense of fragmentation: Greita for instance, is introduced to the reader as a fair and innocent young lady. Taken advantage of by her Baltic German master, she is essentially cast to the wayside but remains in his employ and under her masters' watch. A change had taken place however- the once innocent girl had now been corrupted. "She seemed unable to disengage from her fling with fable and fortune. She exuded pretense and prejudice toward the household help and even her own family. As her beauty faded, she became miserly and bitter."9 Her soul, Eksteins writes, had been splintered. Similarly, the Baltic land, rich with untapped natural resources had been fought over since the twelfth century.10 The battle between the indigenous population and Christianity preceded the horrors of the twentieth century, when the Baltic peoples were constantly in the clutches of their stronger neighbours, whether it be the Soviet Union or Germany. If they stayed, they were the subject of a tug-of-war between two powerful forces, their land slowly eroded. ...read more.

Conclusion

-Nora, Pierre . "Between Memory and History." Representations 60 (1989): 1. 1 Jenkins, Keith. The postmodern history reader. London: Routledge, 1997. P127 2 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.12 3 Ibid, 13. 4 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.42 5 Ibid, 220. 6 Kelertas, Violeta. Baltic postcolonialism. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. P.3 7 P.5 8 Kelertas, Violeta. Baltic postcolonialism. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. P.8 9 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.5 10 Ibid, 8. 11 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.72 12 Nora, Pierre . "Between Memory and History." Representations 60 (1989): 8. 13 Ibid, 13. 14 Nora, Pierre . "Between Memory and History." Representations 60 (1989): 15. 15 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.185 16 Ibid, 69. 17 Eksteins, Modris. Walking since daybreak: a story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the heart of our century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. P.187 18 Ibid, 219. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1920-1949 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 University Degree 1920-1949 essays

  1. Do Historical Films help or hinder our understanding of the past? Discuss with reference ...

    of the past because this could send out the wrong messages to a younger generation and also to those people whom were deeply and directly affected by Nazism and its crimes. Historical films enhance our understanding of past events as they enable history to be conveyed visually via the media

  2. To what extent did the Tsarist and Soviet governments control and influence music in ...

    by fear: forced to cease innovation Shostakovich restricted himself to usual symphonic forms, handling them masterfully to produce a splendid if conventional piece, but nevertheless changing his style only under extreme coercion and bowing to the wishes of the censors.

  1. Prohibition: The Experiment That Failed.

    Most of the white house was aware of Harding's drinking problems and some people even tried to pressure him to reduce his alcoholic intake. August 2, 1923 Warren Harding died from a brain hemorrhage and passed his presidency to left Calvin Coolidge (Hill 111-114).

  2. Why US hegemony in the 20th century was inevitable.

    'Scramble for Africa' and other colonies The 'Scramble for Africa' as it is now known began circa 1880 and lasted until WWI, and resulted in all of Africa being colonized save Liberia which was under US protection, and Abyssinia (Modern day Ethiopia)

  1. History of Post WWII Cleveland Indians

    America could win a world war, there was no reason why the Indians could not win a World Series. More, he saw no reason why the fans should not have fun while the team at least attempted to win. Almost immediately, he became notorious for his propensity to appease his fans.

  2. An Analysis of Edward Saids Out of Place from a Postcolonial Perspective

    In the Six Day War in 1967, Israel captured the rest of mandate from Jordon and Egypt. In 1980s and 2000s there were several Palestinian intifadas against Israel, all faced with security barriers of Israel. Today, the control of Gaza Strip by Israel wtill goes on.

  1. Critically evaluate the skills you have begun to acquire as a historian. Why and ...

    It is an extremely important skill as a historian to posses as certain essay titles require you to argue a certain point or side. I believe I have begun to mature educationally and gain intellectual independence. This course incorporates alot of general research skills, setting up tasks, solving problems and creating bibliographies.

  2. A renewal of black culture occurred around 1910-1940s. This breaking movement in history was ...

    Du Bois philosophies included the focus on African subject matter in regards to informing, yet promoting separatism (PowerPoint). ?Du Bois was one of the first male civil rights leaders to recognize the problems of gender discrimination. He was among the first men to understand the unique problems of black women and to value their contributions? (Gale).

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