The study of history is a crucial component within our society, it allows us to educate ourselves so we are aware of what changes the world has gone through and what people have faced within the past. Not only this, but studying history will hopefully allow us to come closer to why certain events occurred and via the analysis of multiple perspectives we may be able to come to conclusions for why specific decisions were made and possibly theorize what the alternate reality may have been. But why is this so important for us?
Studying history will hopefully allow us to avoid aging mistakes we have made in the past, we often look back at the mistakes we have made and realize the grief it has caused us and it is of human instinct for us to wish to avoid bringing that same grief upon us. Unfortunately the study of history does not present itself with no strings attached, one of the greatest problems we encounter as humans is finding the truth, is trying to differentiate between the truth and the false propaganda put forward by the media which tries to divert us from ever finding the truth.
This is why when we study history we must go deeper than the iris layer of information, we can’t merely depend on the recounts provided by historians but we must look at the historian themselves. We must study the environment the historian was raised in, the experiences that he/she may have felt and the views and beliefs that they hold dear to them, this is all fundamental in understanding what the actual truth is, history will always be tainted by bias, but this is why we attempt to study the context of the historian, so we are hopefully able to view both history and personal perspectives separately.
If we were to study Promo Levies compositions we would open ourselves up to a segment of Levies experiences throughout the war and the troubles and scenarios that he had to face, but how are we certain that what Levi informs us with is segregated from bias and personal perspectives.
When we study history we must account for three major factors; the context of the writer and the bias it adds to their statements, the perspectives they have upon the events which may go against their beliefs and the way in which the history is presented to us, alongside each other Hess factors are able to place a twist on how we view an event and distort our view on what the truth really is. Within Promo Levies Gold we are given an insight into what Levies beliefs and stances are within the fascist ruled Italy and this provides us with an understanding of what sort of bias Levi may have towards the Fascist Republic.
Levi was raised within a Jewish household and also considered himself to be someone of Jewish beliefs, so once the Germans began their invasion upon Italy and the rule of Italy was handed to the Fascist Republic he knew that he could no longer accept the society that was reprobating throughout his country so he Joined a guerrilla group devoted to fighting the Germans and Italian Fascists, this in itself already shows us that the Levi was willing to fight for his cause.
Furthermore when Levi and his fellow partisans are betrayed by Canning he states that he “woke surrounded by the Fascist Republic: they were three hundred and we were eleven, equipped Witt a Tommy gun without bullets and a few pistols”. By utilizing the imagery of such a scenario Levi is able to portray the harsh unjust conditions he had to face and in effect this would be a form of ethos as he is attempting to appeal to the audience’s emotional understanding of these unfair conditions and attempt to make the reader feel empathetic towards his past experiences.
Fundamentally speaking Levi is attempting to provide a recount of the events that occurred with minimal bias but when an individual experiences such events, events which may possibly be the last event you ever experience it is quite difficult to split bias from fact. Another major component that we must consider when analyzing history and its writer is the perspective upon which the historical event is being viewed from.
This is quite similar to bias and context but the main difference I believe would be that bias and context holds greater influence within memoirs and Journals kept throughout the events as it is something they are experiencing whilst writing, whilst a perspective upon the historical event is something which would come into play if the recount was being written at a later date, very much like Levies Gold.
Essentially when you are looking for a historical recount your aim to find someone who wrote it under the influence of the “White Thinking Hat”, a state of mind in which you look at the data, oh remain completely neutral and objective and don’t allow any form of emotion or feeling (Red Thinking Hat) get in the way.
This is quite a difficult task to achieve as some experiences that a person may encounter will change the way they view everything else within their lives, for example when Levi says that “l could easily have lifted the safety pin, pulled the cord, and done away with myself and several of them” he demonstrates the fact that he has even considered suicide rather than experiencing what may be coming, even though this is a written composition the tone f this is a great way for us to understand the extent to which Levi had thought about, the fact that he wanted to end it all.
When an individual has considered such a drastic meaner of escape how can he look back at these events and still provide an unbiased perspective of history. The final factor of determining the validity of history would be the presentation of history, the medium through which it is presented in, I mean this in terms of the writing be a diary entry or a recount written after the event has passed, this as Vive mentioned before is a very crucial aspect as it will account for the degree of bias and influence but there is also another aspect to it.
The “freshness” of the memory, in terms of being able to refer back to it in detail without it becoming clouded by months of Judgment and deceiving truths. Some may argue that memory and history should be regarded as two completely separate “truths” but the fact of the matter is that history and memory co-exist together, these two mediums of recounting events are dependent on each other to add emotional worth or bridge the gaps between events.
The study of history itself is a complex task so when we decide to move further into the process and analyses the writer as well we encounter a variety of different factors which will detect now legible the recount is, when we study the historian we become aware of the context that they are within during the scenarios or time of writing. We become aware that the bias that they have will change the memory within their minds, even if they believe they are writing what actually happened it is impossible to not portray any bias through your tone and use of writing and finally the respective of how history is viewed and presented to us.