Telling Secrets Themes

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The story of life-long denial is told by author Frederick Buechner in his autobiographical account, "Telling Secrets". The "telling of secrets" successfully caps a life-time of self-deception and "keeping secrets." When the young Frederick is faced with the suicide death of his father, he learns from his mother to attach shame and humiliation to the incident. Frederick's mother whisks him and his brother away from the scene of the tragedy in New Jersey to Bermuda to begin a new life and bury the unpleasantness of the past.

The children learn quickly through their mother's tone and behavior to not engage in conversation about their father. They soon can hardly remember what he looked like; ultimately, it was as though he never existed. In later years, Buechner is forced to deal with the past and its secrets. Buechner epitomizes this sentiment in the title character of his novel...

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This section contains 847 words
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Buy the Telling Secrets Study Guide
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