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A Story Of History Essay

785 words - 4 pages

a2008 GP Paper 2 AQ

12 Anna Banatvala thinks an understanding of history is essential, whereas Lee Min Yen thinks history has no value. How important is an understanding of history for you and your society, and how far has your view been challenged or confirmed by these two passages?

The importance of an understanding of history is severely weakened in countries where the history is distorted. Hence, my view has been largely confirmed by Lee Min Yen , the author of passage 2.

Banatvala asserts that since similar causes produce similar results, the benefit of history is that it can teach us how to avoid our ancestors’ mistakes and emulate their successes. While it seems logically ...view middle of the document...

I agree with Lee, as with the advent of social media, the reporting of past events becomes more and more complicated and politicised. For instance, the reporting of last year’s Tibetans’ self-immolation incidents was rather controversial. While local Tibetans and Han Chinese reported some the incidents on Weibo , the like of Twitter in China, the state media , Xinhua , constructed her own narrative of the past incidents. What compounded this was that foreign journalists were prohibited from entering Tibet and the foreign media simply made up their own versions of these past events. The historical accounts of these controversial events became sensationalised and distorted due to political agenda and manipulation. History, therefore, becomes stories based on facts.

Lee also claims that every age, every country rewrites history to suit its needs – at worst by falsifying the record. I concur with the author because history in China is , to a large extent, written by the state. Since the public education system is mainstreamed and controlled by the government, history textbooks are undoubtedly written by the state to inculcate in young pupils a strong sense of loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. While the successes of the ruling political party are acclaimed and magnified, its shortcomings and political scandals are either belittled or omitted altogether...

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