My Critical Response to Secret History by: Leonora Sansay Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 9 January 2017

My Critical Response to Secret History by: Leonora Sansay

The novel “Secret History” by Leonora Sansay for readers it is a little complicated. It is mainly talking about a young lady that travels a lot with her sister. Her sister and her husband got divorced and she started writing some stories in the form of letters. The novel “Secret History” is showing us how bad the way of treatment was in Europe and the marriage at this time was a hard issue.

The women were treated badly and people had a lot of problems because they used to get in a relationship and it was not allowed at this time, so this created more problems. Sansay in the novel is showing us on her writing the various sides of gender and marriages in a very nice way of writing. Sansay has her own way of writing that you see a little bit complicated but when you read till the end she gives readers the conclusion behind what she writes. In “Secret History” Sansay is showing us her personal experiences that she had with Mary and Clara her sister.

She had a lot of problems with her husband and she has been always gloomy and unhappy. Mary writes letters to Burr and she is explaining about how her sister’s husband is bad with her and he treated her in a horrible way. She also wrote about the Haitian culture and how they live under the colonial law and their regulations. They had ethnic and culture problems and they faced a lot of fighting and brutality with the Haitian’s, but the female was so strong together.

Sansay does not seem to like the British in this novel and she said that they are thieves and they robbed them unlike the Americans. In the horrors of St. Domingo, Sansay also showed us how the female under the Haitian revolution were oppressed especially when it comes to marriage. They had a lot of brutality at this time and there were always problems with the military and the people who lived there. The relationship with men and women were very complicated and it has to be under colonial powers.

In some of Mary’s letters she said that by participating in the balls, this changed Clara’s condition and made her feel better, because she was depressed because of her marriage. The balls seem to be good for female and male to get to know each other more and break that oppression that females have under the colonial powers. In the novel, readers find out that the French people think that will only how they will look it will make certain of their triumph and they would win women’s hearts, and also conquering the Haitian powers.

Clara also in having a relationship with Rochambeau and this shows how female/ male used to deal with each other at the time of the Haitian revolution and that Rochambeau is taking advantage of Clara at war time so that he can stop her from departing the island. This is an example of how women were abused under the Haitian rule and they were an example of its outcomes. Rochambeau always wants to overpower and defeat Clara, whenever she introduces herself as the wife of the French colonial, and this shows an example of the married people relations with each other.

Mary and Clara decided to go to Cuba, they were always introduced to other women that have a lot of problems with their husbands and they were all looking for their freedom. At the end of the novel, readers see the difference of how the women used to be and how they started to have their freedoms back. There was no more danger and threatening from the black women to white women. “Secret History” is a great example of violence, and the difference between the time of the Haitian revolution and the time after it.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 9 January 2017

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