Susan Griffin

In: English and Literature

Submitted By redheadd101
Words 1397
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Life in the Web: An Exploration of Susan Griffin’s “Our Secret”

There is a web that every person in the world is a part of. This web connects us to every person that has had an influence on us. The people we see every day, our family and friends, are the ones directly connected to us. We meet someone new, another new connection in the web. We are even connected to people we have never met. Friends of friends, and people who we may never meet but have some indirect effect on us, form the outer circle of the web. We are all connected in some way to every other person.
Susan Griffin explores this theory of a complex matrix of connections in her essay “Our Secret”. She employs a style of writing that uses several different threads of stories from her own experiences and the life of Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the Nazi SS, as well as references to seemingly unrelated topics such as missile production and cells to weave the fabric of her theory of universal interconnectedness. At first glance, each passage seems unrelated to the next, but after thorough reading a juxtaposition of the threads is evident.
Through her entire essay, Griffin uses underlying themes that connect each thread and anecdote to one another. One of the main themes that is interwoven through her essay is child rearing and the effect that different styles of parenting have on the child later in life. One relationship between father and son she explores is Heinrich Himmler and his father Gebhard. Gebhard was a tyrannical father, not uncommon in Germany in the 1900s, who strove to instill a complete perfection into his son at a young age. “Crush the will. Establish dominance. Permit no disobedience. Suppress everything in the child.” These are the words Gebhard lived by. He raised his sons to suppress every emotion. They are taught a sense of shame.
It is the summer of 1910. Heinrich begins his…...

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