The Secret History – Donna Tartt
// Essay by Hanneke van Eijk
The five Greek students, Camilla, Henry, Francis, Charles and Richard were patiently waiting near the ravine, hoping for their friend to come. When they almost gave up and were on the verge of leaving, a drunken Bunny emerged from the footpath. ‘So, what’s the story, deerslayers? You all just felt like coming out here to study the vegetation?’. ‘Well, not exactly’, said the cool voice of Henry and he took a step towards him. Bunny’s eyed widened with startled incredulity. ‘Come on, fellas, you’re joking, right?’ Henry gave Bunny a push, who toppled backwards and fell to his death. The novel “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt deals with everything around the murder of Bunny, from the students’ motives till the dreadful moments after his death and funeral. But who is this character Bunny?
Bunny, which is a nickname for Edmund Corcoran, is the son of a football star who turned banker. He grows up in a loving and devoted family in the suburbs with his four brothers and parents. They live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but actually don’t have a red cent. Bunny’s best friend Henry says that Bunny’s parents are like reptiles. They hatch their young and abandon them to the elements. What Henry means by this, is that Bunny’s parents always manage to work around the fact that they are poor. This is shown in the fact that Bunny’s parents pay for only his tuition to Hampden University, but that Bunny has to figure out for himself how he will get the money to take care of himself. So, they can put him in a school, but don’t have the resources to provide for him in any other way. Bunny is not a very intelligent boy, but he has developed the skill of tricking people into paying bills or giving him money and he is very successful at stealing food out of the university dorm refrigerators. Of course, friends wouldn’t mind helping out a comrade, but Bunny is a high maintenance boy who – like his parents...
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