Trouillot Silencing The Past Analysis

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In the first chapter of Michel Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, Trouillot sets out to answer the question of how history is produced by laying a framework arguing that in the writing of history, lots of things get lost and what is lost impacts our view of the past. Trouillot believes that “human beings participate in history both as actors and narrators”. Most events leave traces of documents and ideally the narration of history is from these sources, however, no “narrator” has access to all sources. Trouillot considers history to be “fiction” with special power and is concerned with the different “silences” that show up in the process of making history. He discusses four specific silences in history as the making of sources, the creation of archives, the narrators themselves, and becoming apart of history. Different kinds of credibility determines wether the historical narrative is fiction or not. This…show more content…
Monuments, displays, and museums are all examples of how history influences our daily lives. Without realizing it, we assume that the things we read and the physical history we can see is always true. History also has the effect of being “watered down” when given to the public. We can better understand that the credibility of each source from each story will differ with the information given. Having a better knowledge of how history is created by the realities seen by the historians. Trouillot helps us grasp the idea that it is important to know that the most honest historians will try to tell the story as accurately as possible from the data. At the same time, many parts of the past get “silenced”, being forgotten about, pushed aside or passed over. Trouillot gives beneficial information that can be applied to our own studies about how this selective “silencing”
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