The Secret Scripture Analysis

Topics: Memory, The Secret Scripture, Truth Pages: 2 (699 words) Published: January 23, 2013
Much of life is unknown. Much of the world is uncharted. There are many uncertainties that continue to frustrate man, and we have become a society obsessed with seeking the truth. People believe that truth is untouchable. There is an understanding that truth does not change; people change after discovering the truth. Although this may hold true in instances such as universal laws of mathematics or science, it is not the case in history or in human memory. Sebastian Barry addresses this issue through the book's various characters, and particularly through the three voices of Roseanne McNulty, Fr. Gaunt and Dr. Grene. Barry spends little time explaining the characters’ emotions, and instead leaves it to beautifully poetic prose describing only the situations themselves, which give the reader the pleasure and the challenge of unwinding Roseanne’s complex and fascinating history. Roseanne's account sifts through her century of collected memories while filtering out sections of her life, which calls the reader to question the validity of her statements. Is she a historian chronicling the past or an author creating fiction? Towards the end of the novel, she confesses that her memories and her imaginings are "lying deeply in the same place" and that the process of excavating them is troublesome. Roseanne's voice is urgent, colloquial and full of self-corrections. She admits that everything she recalls "may not be real" and that she has "taken refuge in other impossible histories, in dreams, in fantasies". Roseanne points out herself, "No one has the monopoly on truth...not even myself...". One begins to wonder if perhaps it is Roseanne's unique delivery of the storyline that is important, and not the unraveling of the truth itself. Everyone notices different details in a situation, and can interpret them differently. They may only see parts of an event and therefore make potentially conflicting conclusions. When history is subjective and memory is questionable, can we...
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