Secrecy means holding something in a secret. Sometimes people keep secrets their whole life, some of them reveal their secrets when they feel they will die, or someone conceals the truth due to the fear of hurting others people’s feelings. Anyways, people might keep harmless or dark secrets which may haunt them in the course of their lives. When a bad secret is revealed, trouble is inevitable. This essay focuses on the concept of secrecy from three different points of view presented in the works by Virginia Woolf The Legacy, Graham Greene The Blue Film, and Carol directed by Todd Haynes. These three stories differ, but all of them show how secrecy between adults, who are in a relationship, brings lots of problems and is surely discovered at the end.
To begin with, the term secrecy is often used between people who are in a serious relationship or married. It implies a conscious motivation to save something hidden, unknown or unseen. It is something that directly affects one of the partners. It may appear when one of the partners finds a lover on the side. If this happens, they try to hide it. Secrets might be fueled by shame, betrayal, anger or fear. Secrets disenable intimacy in relations because they avoid truth. Psychologically, when one of the partners holds a secret from the other, trust-based relations are impossible. An example could be not telling your partner about your relations before marriage or about your acute emotional past (for instance, concealing from your partner that your kid committed a suicide, you have got credits etc.). In the Blue Film by Graham Greene, Mrs. Carter goes to the cinema with her husband and during an adult film she sees her husband playing in the “blue film” when he was young (Greene, 1954). He accepts that he still loves that prostitute who he played with and that he has spent his life with the woman he does not love. The personal life of this family is ruined in this situation. Mrs. Carter says that she would not have married him if she had known about his past and worries that this secret would be discovered and this would ruin her position in the society.
To continue, secrets often involve betrayal of your close people. If one of the partners betrays the other by having an affair on the side, they wish to keep it in a secret from their family. They think that this will not break their initial relationship. The big minus of such relations is that most secrets sooner or later become exposed. This way they ruin the sense of trust and most relations end up. It becomes a life crisis for two of the partners. Moreover, partners might suspect their spouses in adultery which will result in checking phone records, emails, messages on Facebook, Viber etc. There might not be betrayal, but the partner’s persistence to know everything brings anger to relationships and tension. In The Legacy by Virginia Woolf the partner discovered about the outside relation after his wife died (Woolf, 1944). He found her diary she hid from him. There his wife wrote about the relation on the side. So the secrecy was revealed and even death was not a hindrance to it.
In addition, people with the same-sex orientation might keep their relations in secrecy. They might even hide it and build the relationship lacking in passion where they feel comfortable. The film Carol directed by Todd Haynes shows a secret love between two ladies, Carol and Therese (Vachon & Haynes, 2015). Carol is married and at the beginning she tries to hide her relation with Therese from her husband. But soon he discovers the truth, and they divorce. The longer you keep secrets, the more difficult it becomes to keep them, and the more they endanger the communication between the partners.
Finally, people cope with different whims just to save the relationship. But if you keep a secret from your partner, you run the danger that you might lose his or her trust and put your relationship in danger.
To conclude, secrecy is something you hide from your friends, family, society. Three of these stories describe the aspect of secrecy. All of the characters kept something in a secret and later the truth was discovered. One secret was revealed in the cinema, another was uncovered after the death of the partner, and in the third story it led to a divorce. All three stories prove that concealing something from your partner always has a negative effect on relations and causes emotional pain. Because of secrets, families suffer, divorce, or simply stop communicating.
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