"The Secrets of Our Secret"
Throughout "Our Secret" Griffin explores the different characters' fears and secrets and she gives specific insights into these "secrets". Through examining others Griffin comes to terms with her own feelings, secrets, and fears. She relates to Himmler, Leo, Helene, and everyone else even though she is different than all of them. One fact that can be made about all of these characters is that they all represent humans and human emotion
First, Griffin reveals that there is a hidden side to everyone that is only known within, and anything outside could be a false representation, or imposter. "I think of it now as a kind of mask, not an animated mask that expresses the essence of an inner truth, but a mask that falls like dead weight over the human face" (Griffin 349). This quote captures what she is trying to say about secrets being the barrier to others' feelings. The mask Griffin talks about represents the barrier to the secrets. Having this mask shields what is on the inside.
Griffin explores Heinrich Himmler and the secrets that are hidden within him. Throughout his childhood Himmler's secrets and thoughts were hidden, overshadowed by a mask or barrier formed by his upbringing and culture. What occurs if the soul in its small beginnings is forced to take on a secret life? He harbors his secrets in fear and guilt, confessing them to no one until in time the voice of his father chastising him becomes his own. A small war is waged in his mind (Griffin 352). Griffin is saying that Himmler has these hidden secrets that are suppressed and it's creating a conflict within. These are the barriers to Himmler's emotions created by his upbringing and ideas. Griffin is stating in this quote that having to keep a secret creates emotional instability, which affects the well being of the individual. The barrier of the secret creates a barrier to true emotions. When someone has a secret their true emotions are hidden within...
Cited: Griffin, Susan. "Our Secret". Ways of Reading Eds. David Bartholomae and Anthony
Petrosky. Sixth edition. Boston. New York: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2002.
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