Shame Essay

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DeFrees has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Texas and is a published writer and an editor. In the following essay, DeFrees discusses author Ernaux's use of time to show how a single, seminal event in a person's life can shade and contour the way that individual looks at life.

What is shame? What does it mean to be ashamed? Shame can be clearly labeled and worn on the sleeve or it can be internal, like a shameful secret, invisible but for the ways it leaks into a person's responses to other people and events. Both are fraught with sorrow and regret, but it is the insidious nature of private shame that may be the more devastating, for there is no release, and thus, no escape. In Annie Ernaux's memoir Shame, the author deals with her...

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This section contains 1,494 words
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Shame from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.