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Susan's essay has interwoven a number of threads that are unrelated. The author has juxtaposed short paragraphs and short sentences to give a description of how a biological cell develops. The same juxtaposition has been used in the case of missiles. Similarly, Griffin also vacillates from one narration style to another. She switches from first person narration to third person narration to bring out the emotions clearly and the emotions thy have each undergone. Susan griffin's essay is based on historical events particularly those events that revolve around the world war two through the use of a number of persons. The first instances you encounter with thee book may proof to be very difficult to comprehend but explanations from Bartholomae and Petrosky expounds his work. The two tell us that griffins work is generally looking at the past occurrences, our comprehension of this past and how the past relate with the present. The essence of knowing this significance is also emphasized to the leader. Griffin comes out with a clear argument of how we understand, comprehend and know the past (Griffin 844). The most compelling thing about griffin's essay is on how she has incorporated family, personal and world history to come up with a very interesting autobiography and narrative without loosing and swaying form the message she wants to communicate in the essay. The presentation brought out by the chapter is very clear that a reader does not need to visit other parts of the book to come up with the writer's historical background (Griffin 166). In using her personal history, Griffin gives a clear description of her childhood and her general life which ends up interweaving with her family's history. In addition, she talks about the other characters histories which leads to coming up with the larger perspective of the world history. Apart from these characters histories, the author uses an addition of two stories to enhance a clear comprehension to the readers regarding her concepts and the message she is trying to put across. She uses a cell in the first story, where she starts by explaining what a nucleus. As the story keeps unfolding so is the nucleus. As the nucleus matures and its inner part develops, a number of cells arise to form an embryo. The other story is a bout the missiles.
According to Griffin in the whole of humanity, truth has been regarded as one of the most powerful weapons. This is due to the power it is associated with, the power to free people, change their lives and even power to end these lives. Due to this, the aspect of truth has often been approached with fear. To some extend many people will often think of concealing the truth. In "our secret", Griffin considers the concealing of the truth as the major theme of the article and she uses it to develop the plot of the essay. The title of the essay "our secret" has been used to refer to thee secrets that the characters in the story hide from the others. This is a clear indication that humanity keeps secrets from itself (Griffin 115). The first impression that a reader gets when you start reading the book is the concealing of facts and reality. The author takes the reader through the various processes of making up a missile. Later, it is these simple processes of making a missile that develop to a bigger and effective compound that is very detrimental. It is from these separate storylines that are incorporated together to indicate that each person has got a background.
Each individual came from somewhere. It is from this background that are responsible for developing the present and the future. In the essay, the author illustrates how a number of characters tried to forget their past without realizing that escaping from one's history is impossible. A good character used by griffin to illustrate this is Himmler (Griffin 348). This character is used to categorically indicate how experiences encountered early in life can affect future decisions. Griffin states that each child came from a seed, seeds that are good and bad, seeds that are defined by the education one receives from the environment one is occupying. This is an indication that there may raise instances when an individual is shaped and molded by things that are behold their control. This therefore means that one is destined to follow a specific path, a path that you cannot be deterred from. For the case of man, this path is defined by maliciousness which results to people dying by causes that are either directly or indirectly associated to us. For the case of the nucleus, they are destined to undergo specific development procedures and later split to form independent cells. On the other hand, the same case applies to rockets, once they have been launched, they can not be altered, there direction and course can not be stopped.
Griffin in her book, "our secret" has applied a range of ideas to build a form that models the many layers, the overlap of ideas or issues she is discussing. To begin with, Griffin main theme in the book "our secret" is fear and the secrets which people hide all through their lives but become to be concealed in one way or the other. According to Griffin, every person has a secret that is well hidden in his heart but still affirms that one thing would definitely happen that would unveil the secret hidden for many years. Griffin postulates that the environment were one is brought in has lead to an instance where one would like to dissociate with and thus where a mask that show is different from what he is inside. Griffin in her book, "our secret" has connected life with science to bring her ideas which is fear and the secrets but mainly she dwells in secrets.
Griffin compares the life of the person as a seed. When the seed is planted in the soil, it sprouts either in healthy manner or malnourished depending with whether the conditions necessary for germinations were availed which includes water, oxygen and warmth. Like wise when a child is brought in a certain environment, he becomes a good or a bad person depending on the upbringing according to the child. According to the Griffin, the kind of upbringing accorded to the child has a bearing in the child life and when the upbringing of the child was not done properly the child lives in denial and thus wears a mask that it did not happen. The guiltiness and self denial lead to a child to wear a mask that disguises the true personality the person has; a person tries to be a different person he or she really is.
Griffin also compares the life of person as a cell. In particular, Griffins links human life to the rockets and nucleus cells. She gives the illustrations that the life of the human being cannot be control and that one cannot deter the course the human life has taken. In human being, for instance the feeling maliciousness cannot be controlled by anyone and at times lead to people loosing lives in the hands of the person who had these malicious feelings from the time he was a young person. According to Griffin, the people who have caused human suffering and even deaths had harbored those feelings since where young yet nothing could not have being done to stop the person from perpetuating the malicious acts. Like the nucleus cell which must undergo the process of splitting and thus creating new cells, human life cannot to stop from taking it course whether a bad one or a good one. Griffin in her book "Our secret" also links the human life with the rocket, once the rocket has being constructed no matter the initial intentions of constructing it, it would be difficult to change their destruction and their course when it is eventually launched. Human life, like the rocket or missile undergoes certain processes which include training and the upbringing of the person. The people who are concerned with bringing up the person may have meant well while teaching the child at his young age but once the person become of age their cannot control his behavior one would like to indulge in (Griffin 346).
To illustrate further that one cannot control a person when he become of age, Griffin creates a character by the name Heinrich. According to Griffin, Heinrich's father was very strict and controlling type who controlled every aspect of Heinrich's life and was given the responsibilities that were meant to be carried by older people than Heinrich. When Heinrich was at the age of ten, his father declared that he was old enough to carry responsibilities mature person (Griffin 348). The upbringing of Heinrich made him to have superiority attitude and that whoever at the lower level than him was seen as insignificant. Later Heinrich became a military man, due to his determination he climbed the ladder to become the head. Due to the kind of upbringing Heinrich was given by his father, he saw other people that were "inferior" to him as not deserving to live. This was made true as he ordered the killing of Jews and gays that were considered "inferior being" during World War II.
It is a fact that the stylistic and literary devices that have been put to use helps to create a larger collage, matrix and the reflection of a larger view which is the different themes. For instance, in the story Our Secrets, Griffin uses ignorance when executing her plot line. This is clearly seen in the manner in which Griffin explores all other characters in the story, thereby giving readers greater insights concerning the characters, especially Himmler, Helene and Leo, among a host of others. The author remains quiet concerning herself; thereby painting herself as being very unique to the rest.
At the same time, Griffin shows her dexterity and adroitness in literature by her use of symbolism and representation. The characters that Griffin interacts with are representations of the wide range of human emotions, secrets, horrors and feelings.
Griffin also employs the use of realism. In the nascent stages of Our Secrets, through the events that unfold, Griffin shows that there is always the unseen side to each person, and which can be felt by the individual alone. This is to the effect that what appears to be the case on the outward may be a fallacious or phony representation of the supposed reality so as to catalyze acceptance. It is against this backdrop that Griffin (349) maintains that she considers of the same, a type of façade; an inanimated face that does not reveal the spirit of the inward truth, but a mask that falls as a deadweight over the human face."
It is on the same premise that Griffin develops her plotline, so that the orchestration of the scene and plot tends towards the exposition on the mask as a symbol of the barricading against the outward and the inward as a factor that hinders the exposing of secrets. This makes the mask also serve as a representation of the values (whether good or bad) that remain trapped inwardly and unexposed. This may be because of hypocrisy on the character's side, or out of the character's quiet and reserved predisposition or his inability to deal with a traumatizing past. The veracity of this analysis is seen the presentation of the person Himmler. He does not seek to subdue his past because he is hypocritical, but because of the traumatizing extent of his background and upbringing. Himmler's secrets and thoughts are deeply etched within his person and also camouflaged behind a mask, courtesy of his upbringing, siring and recruitment into the military service which totally inculcated in him, the view of masculinity traditions.
Closely related to the above, among the complexes of the designs that Griffin uses to form a larger matrix is the use of flashbacks. It is these flashbacks that let the audience in one a character's mind and inward person, thereby helping the audience see beyond the mask. At the same time, the flashbacks help the audience understand the character's predisposition and how this affects the plotline. For instance, the audience only sees Himmler as tough and masculine until the tone of voice of his father disciplining him becomes his own. This makes the small battle in his mind uncover the guilt and panic Himmler had, though he had not revealed the same to anyone (352).
Beyond any controversy, it is a fact that Griffin has overall success in conveying her ideas and themes. Through the use of flashbacks for instance, the audience is let in on the real character of a person, making the understanding of a person possible and easy. At the same time, in Griffin's own words, these flashbacks stem from a deep well of emotions which leads to emotional unsteadiness and eventually, leading to direct actions and thereby affecting the plotline and the theme ultimately. The success in Griffin's work is also seen in the manner in which she uses other stylistic and literary devices such as symbolism, imagery and suspense to not only thicken the plot, but to also develop and compound the theme.