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In the story ‘Let’s go to Golgotha’ by Gary Kilworth, the themes of time, memory and history are connected in one way or another. Firstly, I will protray how, Simon Falk linked history to time when the time-travellers travelled back in time to relive the “Crucifixion of Christ”. Secondly, also show how Simon Falk links memory to history when time-travellers are told to act in the way they remember the script of the bible, in order to not change history. In addition, explain how history might have been misinterpreted by the time-travellers. And finally, explain how time would have been different, if the time-travellers did not follow their memory of how a certain occurance in history might have happened.
Futurism is used in the story “Let’s go to Golgotha” by Gary Killworth when the time-travelling tourists go on a tour to the “Crucifixition of Christ”. The tour operator explains to the crowd that they must not change history. Most importantly if they are asked to choose between Jesus or Barabas they must scream “Give us Barabbas”. Although when the time came for them to do as they were instructed by the tour operator to do, Simon realizes that the crowd is only made up of the time-travelling tourists and that there were no actual people from Golgotha. From the begginning of the story, the themes of time, history and memory are introduced to us. Simon Falk and his wife Mandy Falk, decide to take their children on a vacation back in time to relive history, specifically to relive the Crucifixion of Christ.
The tourists were given clear instructions, to rely on their memory so that they do not change history. According to the Bible, “When Jesus was standing before Pilate the Roman governor, who had already declared Jesus innocent of anything worthy of death, he was praying for mercy to God and asking God to save him. Pilate knew that Jesus was being railroaded and it was out of self-interest that the chief priests handed Jesus over to him, so he looked for a way to free Jesus and still keep the peace. Pilate therefore offered the crowd of people a choice, to choose between the release of Jesus or the release of Barabbas, a well known criminal who had been imprisoned for an insurrection in the city and for murder”. In the story, the preparation officers said to the travellers, “We will arrive on the day that Pilate asks the inhabitants of Jerusalem whom he should set free, as the citizens are permitted to grant amnemty to one prisioner over the Feast of the Passover. When the crowd begins to shout ‘Barabbas’ as we know it, then we must shout it too. You must not appear to be different in any way from the rest of the citizens. This is vitally important. You have to appear in agreement with the rest crowd”. This paraphrase and quote proves that from the very beginning, the tourists were forced to depend on their memories of the scripture in the bible in order to go back in time to relive history.
History is again linked with time and memory, when the appearance of the time-travellers were of great importance before they embarked on their time travelling journey to Golgotha. The time-travelling tourists were given suitable clothes so that they would not look any different from the people during Jesus’s time; it was very important that they do not look suspicious and atrract negative attention but they were supposed to meld with the crowd. According to Kilworth (2000), the preparation officer stated, “You will be issued with the appropriate clothing before you embark and everyone will go through our treatment room to make sure that their outward appearance does not clash with that of the natives”. They were also taught how to speak Hebrew. This paraphase and quote proves to us that the time-travellers were focused on going on a safe trip and making sure that nothing will put them at risk. Therefore, relying on their memory of history in order to travel safely back in time. There is a lot of assumption that people from the modern time are smarter than people who were very religious during Jesus’s time. According to England (2017), “Intelligient people are less likely to conform, and, in most societies, religisity is closer to the norm than atheism is. ” This is based on the fact that most religious people carry out life based on their faith. For example, Christians would not commit murder only because it is stated in the bible. Before embarking on the trip, the preparation officer said “You will sure give yourselves away under stress, not because you are idiots but because you are clever. People in those times were simple”. This therefore, proves to us that the time-travelling tourists thought that the people in history were inferior to them. But despite them learning many things from the preparation for the tour, they were still not in any way ready for what to expect in Golgotha, as they were not used to the gravel, and sharp stones. This tells us that no matter how much knowledge you have about history, no one is fully ready to go back in time. According to the Bible, “Pilate was supposed to ask a crowd in Golgotha whether to save Jesus Christ or Barabbas. The crowd was supposed to call out Barabbas instead of Jesus Christ”. “A tall thin man with an intelligent face was addressing the people from the steps of a stone building… He was speaking in Latin. ” Pilate had requested the crowd to decide to save Jesus or Barabas. “The crowd shuffled but remained silent… James cried out ‘Barabbas’ in a high voice. He had been day dreaming…” This suggests to us that Jesus would have not been killed, since James was day dreaming and none of the people from Golgotha would have had the confidence to scream “Barabas”. Therefore proving to us, that history might have been different if the time travellers did not follow their memory of what happened in history. The themes of memory, history and time are again evident, when the tourists are faced to decide whether to scream “Barabas” as it is in the script. The temperature during Jesus’s time resulted in Simon’s daughter, Mandy, feeling sick, this is evident because according to Kilworth (2000) Mandy stated that, “It must be the heat. It’s getting at me at bit too. ” So Mandy was in need of shade and found people praying inside houses. And according to Kilworth (2000) “Then having an idea, she walked over to one of the houses and looked in from the open doorway. A Hebrew family was sitting on stools in the middle of the room with their hands clasped in front of them. ” Shockingly, there were no actual people from Golgotha in the crowd, but instead the time-travelling tourists.
Mandy talking to Simon said, “Theres something funny here. The houses have people in them. One would think they would be out on a day like today. Why aren’t they watching Christ pull his cross through the streets?” Simon then also realized and said, “There are no Jews here, no natives. The only ones here are us. The holiday-makers. The whole guilt of man-kind rests on our shoulders”.
From then on, the time-travelling tourists stated that if they had not went there, Jesus might have not been ressurected, because the people might have wanted Barabas to be killed, as he was a well known criminal. These quotes therefore proves that history would have been different if the time-travellers did not travel back in time and make decisions based on their memory of the script. In conclusion, we can see from the story that the time-travellers assume that history is well made and they know how it should be played out. They make sure that they do nothing that might change history. They further agree with the fact that history cannot be changed. However, history only played out the way it did in the story because of the consequences of the time-travellers’ decisions.
In my opinion, if the time-travellers did not follow history, and yelled out “Jesus”, things would have turned out differently. Therefore, showing us how the themes of time, memory and history are interlinked in the story.
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