History and Memory Essay
History and memory are inherently subjective; therefore there are difficulties when discovering the truth within them. They do however validate each other, as only through their interplay that a true representation of truth may be presented. The individual determines the entirely subjective meta-cognitive process of memory. Thus no objective history can be obtained, leaving the truth entirely up to interpretation.
History is supposedly a distillation of clear conclusions drawn from the factual evidence of the past. Memory on the other hand is influenced by emotions, senses and suggestion, therefore it is extremely subjective, affecting the way it is viewed. This is show throughout the prescribed text; Smithsonian National Museum of American History, September 11 website, through the audible, visual and emotional structures and representations which are found throughout. Along with the prescribed text Yosuke Yamahata’s memo Remembering Nagasaki and the film Memento provide insight into the different representations of history and memory through a subjective lens.
Western culture is taught to believe that history is an objective and unbiased recording of the past, with memory being highly subjective, which therefore effects the way it is perceived. The relationship between history and memory is symbiotic, being dynamic and fluid. History is traditionally recorded by the victor, though with current times this is changing. Technology has changed the way history is represented and recorded, being under a rapid rate of change. This can be seen with the Smithsonian September 11 website, which is constantly being modified over a short period of time; with major information being removed or added almost instantly. It is important to recognize the importance of this and what it means for how history and memory is recorded.
The purpose of the Smithsonian website is to inform, although the audience is chosen or “selected.” With titles and...