The Role of History and Memory in The Fiftieth Gate, Schindler's List, and The Send Off

1248 Words 5 Pages
The strong relationship created between history and memory is one of a vexing nature due to deliberate selection and emphasis. It does however result in a confluence of different representations, that is, personal stories (memory) and public stories (history). Mark Baker’s biography and autobiography ‘The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey Through Memory’, explores his parents’ memories which are both verified and contradicted by Baker’s historical findings, as each asserts their claim through these different theories of representation drawing on such established criteria as evidence, accuracy, authenticity, authority and detail. Steven Spielberg’s horror-psychological thriller film, ‘Schindler’s List’ shows how amongst the abhorrence of the …show more content…
Baker uses the technique of polyphony, having originally been inspired by the form of the Jewish Talmud, to allow the story to be told from each person’s perspective and personal experiences. At times the voices compete against each other, which is shown through Mark Baker’s many voices, and include his voice as a historian, son, storyteller and Jewish intellectual. As a historian he seeks the ‘truth’ which can be no absolute version, for example he instantaneously believes Elzbieta’s version of his mother’s hiding over his own mother’s story, and also aims for objectivity, accuracy and validity while always trying to find proof. Baker’s voice as a historian can be challenged by his voice as a son. This voice involves his personal interpretations and has emotional attachment as he wishes to record his parents’ stories for the future and understand their past while also protecting them. This protection affects the context as it results in deliberate selection and emphasis, with the emphasis been on their sufferings and particular discoveries been left out which includes his brief mention of his family’s illegitimate baby. Baker describes ‘The Fiftieth Gate’ as the “highest knowledge of God” or the hidden light of God which illuminates the world from one end to the other. ‘The Fiftieth Gate’ is therefore not an ending point but rather it is a point at which one knows the truth of one’s perspective including identity,

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