The Secrets We Kept Themes & Motifs

Lara Prescott
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Dualism

A central driver of the novel’s plot is the dualism inherent in the human condition, which reflects in the institutions that humans create. The most prominent example of dualism is East and West. At first glance, the novel’s vastly different experiences given by the typists and Olga imply that people of the East and West have more differences than similarities. The USSR is a Communist State with a totalitarian government that uses brute force against its constituents. On the other hand, the U.S. is a capitalistic society governed by a constitution that grants civil rights to its constituents. The reduction of Russia to the East and the U.S. and Europe as the West evokes this sense of disparity; it masks the complexities that lie therein. These fundamental differences drive the tension between the U.S. and the USSR at the start of...

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This section contains 2,313 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Secrets We Kept Study Guide
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