Our Secret Essay, Research Paper
In “Our Secret” by Susan Griffin, the essay uses fragments throughout the essay to symbolize all the topics and people that are involved. The fragments in the essay tie together insides and outsides, human nature, everything affected by past, secrets, cause and effect, and development with the content. These subjects and the fragments are also similar with her life stories and her interviewees that all go together. The author also uses her own memories mixed in with what she heard from the interviewees. Her recollection of her memory is not fully told, but with missing parts and added feelings. Her interviewee’s words are told to her and brought to the paper with added information. She tells throughout the book about these recollections.
The author starts the essay with an interviewee and adds in the first fragment about V-1 rockets. Then the interviewee’s story mixed in with a biology fragment. The author uses this type of fragment to relate to subjects farther down the essay which makes each fragment relate to the content. Fragments that are used help to explain human nature, insides and outsides, everything affected by past, secrets, cause and effect, and development. All of these factors can go with the stories of Heinrich Himmler, Gebhard (Dad of Himmler), Laura (story in beginning), Heinz, Wernher von Braun (rocket scientist), Helene (author met at Metro station), and Leo. The author also uses examples of homosexuality, torture, child-rearing practices, parents/family, and also relates it with the stories and the fragments. Knowing that this essay has a lot of subjects that the author writes on, can make this piece seem confusing. Knowing that all of the issues will be tied together in some way, makes the essay more understandable. To use an example to tie together the fragments one can see that V-1 rockets are potentially destructive, complex, conveys images of strength, outcome unpredictable, inside guides outside, and that it has a target or destination which shows that in some way each fragment can relate to torture, human nature, cause and effect, parents and family, and many others. For example, Himmler is complex, conveys images of strength, his outcome is unpredictable, and he is potentially dangerous to the jews. In some way, all of the topics are put together with the fragments. To use another example to connect the fragments one can see that cells and DNA are used to show development through the book. The fragments go from a cell to a new born baby. Each fragment can be looked at as development and can relate to human nature, memory, inside and outside, and other subjects. An example would be humans develop over time and that secrets or memories can develop over time.
The author inscribes her own memories with the use of stories from interviewees. She says in her essay that the stories that she listened to were changed because “once you hear them, they become one of your own”(431). So in other words, her recollection of the stories were altered a bit with added information from her memories. The author also uses her memories of the past when she hears the stories. The author also says in context to the whole essay that she can only tell the stories, but the reader decides what the essay is about.
The author throughout the essay is linking fragments to the content that is within.
In other words, she is taking her memories and interviewees stories and linking them to the fragments as a whole.