The Secret History

Richard who doubles up as the narrator is intriguing. He is representative of the common youth. He tells us that he is always fighting with his parents and his parent did not want him to go to college. Instead, they felt that he should help in running the family business. He on the other feels that he should be in a college pursuing, not medicine but, Greek. He feels that the fact that he excels in Greek is a good enough reason to pursue it. His parents, while they don’t appreciate education at all, would have preferred him to be studying Medicine.

Richard’s interest in studying Greek is enhanced by the way of life of the Greek class students. He is attracted by the isolation they live under. I however feel that his real attraction for the group is borrowed from his need to belong. He desires the relationship that has been cultivated between these students. The fact that he is not in good terms with his parents supports this. They also sold his furniture implying they did not take him to be one of their own.

The devotion of Richard to this group is absolute. While he does not get involved in murdering the farmer, he feels he should help in covering up for them. He goes to the extent of sharing with Henry his (Henry’s) plots and to kill Bunny. To an extent he participates in the plot to kill Bunny, for example, by advising Henry not to use poison since it can be detected.

Finally, he seems not to see his life beyond the group. When Henry dies, he asks for Camilla’s hand in marriage. He desires to be with someone who feels the way he does. He wants to live within the circle of understanding they have created. He does not want to get out of the simple Greek nation they have created.

Journal 8

After reading the novel, I came to realize that Richard has two distinctly different personalities. First, Richard is devoted. He devotes himself fully to learning Greek when he accepts to let go of his other classes to study with Julian. He also devotes himself to protect the group. He chooses to keep the secrets that they hold between them, at least until now.

Second, Henry is a liar. He claims that he can lie on his feet as if it is the right thing to do. He has no boundaries over who he can lie to. He even lies to get money. When he get the money, he goes out and spends it all. He also

Journal 9

When he goes out to look for his friends in the woods, he describes the forest to be quieter and more forbidding than they are now. Nothing makes a noise; not even birds and leaves. He further describes the sky as darkening and the air heavy. This part explains two things. First, there is the wait for Charles. The silence and the poise with which he describes the dogwood trees are especially helpful. The dark air and the darkening skies are a sign of the death that awaits Bunny and the trauma that awaits his killers.

When Henry is telling Richard about the murder, Richard describes him vividly. The darkness that is on his face could be a sign of the trouble he has been through. The paleness could be a depiction of his death. It is a sign that he no longer lives his life. He is prisoner at the least to his guilt and to bunny. On the other hand, once he shares the secret with Richard, they share something in common. They are covered by a blanket of darkness. Richard feels like they are left suspended in a “some boundless expanse of dark.” This that he has now gotten into Henry’s problems.

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