Essay on Mod C

Words: 919
Pages: 4

Representations are not merely objective truth, but encompass conscious selectivity and emphasis which shape and define the meaning we derive from a text. The importance of the Smithsonian's Bearing Witness to History site as both a historical and American representation causes a divergence in its purpose, between its obligation for factual accuracy and intrinsic support of specific cultural values. Deepa Mehta's film Earth (1996) demonstrates the manipulation of texts to shape the meaning we derive from the past, influenced by our memory of the past, distorted by personal context. Despite delving into different historical events, each text demonstrates the complementary relationship of historical truth and memory, a constructed dynamic …show more content…
Deepa Mehta's Earth utilises the Partition of India as a backdrop to recognise the impact of personal experience on an individual's perception of the past, underlining the distortions and limitations memory can apply to to the representation of history. The young protagonist Lenny's inability to come to terms with losing her nanny in the violence of Partition is expressed through non-diegetic droning sounds and voiceover, providing a personal association beyond the factual recount of the historical event. This selectivity in recollection mirrors the website's representation of the event, evident in the inclusion of emotionally charged recounts of 9/11, underlined in a responder's repetition of "Always Remember", in reflection of the past. Mehta chooses to link the memories of frustration and victimisation in her characterisation of Lenny's beggar friend who despondently asks Lenny, "my mother was raped and you want me to play marbles?", emotively humanising the complementary role of memory in comprehending history. In her use of ambient lighting and close-up of an older Lenny, Mehta appropriates the haunting memories of the Partition, to enhance the history of the present, however distorting fact, with the existing sentiments of the