Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Memory and the Past

By Philip K. Dick

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Memory and the Past

History is kind of a big deal in The Man in the High Castle, what with the whole "Nazis win the war" thing. But in this book, history is also small-scale and personal; it's not just "Nazis won," but "I remember playing with that toy." No matter the big-picture history, there's still room for people to make their own memories. But is there a way for individual people to change the big-picture history? That's a question that The Man in the High Castle asks a few times, as people (with their small-scale memories) get caught up with the big-picture history.

Questions About Memory and the Past

  1. Is there history that we can all agree on? Or is all history personal and subjective?
  2. Many characters talk about history in this book. Whose idea of history is closest to what the book says?
  3. Is there any way to get out of history? Does the Edfrank jewelry get Tagomi out of history? Does the I Ching?
  4. Is this book's version of World War II believable?

Chew on This

In The Man in the High Castle, history is only remembered as, well, memory—and memory can't be trusted.

No one can radically change history in The Man in the High Castle, but everyone contributes to shaping history.

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