In "The Reader", what things show the theme "secret(s)"? And how can we prove it through 3 points?For "secret(s)", I have 2 ideas already. 1. The relationship between Michael and Hanna (Because...

In "The Reader", what things show the theme "secret(s)"? And how can we prove it through 3 points?

For "secret(s)", I have 2 ideas already. 1. The relationship between Michael and Hanna (Because Michael keeps this secret in the whold life) 2. Hana is illiterate (Hanna`s biggest secret)  AND what else? I real want to get at least one more that can be proved by 3 points in the book..  Thank you very much..

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For a theme of secrets, consider the entire nature of the Holocaust that occurred during the war.  The Germans were very ambiguous about the concentration camps, and tried desperately to cover up evidence that they had even occurred.  There are numerous stories of the Germans burning the camps to the ground, so that they wouldn't be discovered by the Allies.  The entire reason that Hanna and her cohorts were walking these women through the countryside was to move them away from coming Allied forces, to get them somewhere where it wouldn't be discovered what they had been doing to them.  So, the Germans as a whole were rather secretive about the mistreatment of Jews in the camps, and went to drastic and awful measures to keep the camps and the emaciated Jews that were in them, from being discovered.  So, that is one more secret that you could use for your theme.  It is more general, but, the trial at the end was a woman trying to bring to light what exactly had happened on those death marches.  She was trying to reveal the secret that Hanna and the other guards had kept quiet--that they had let many of those women die.  The other guards tried to invent stories, to evade the truth, and to keep the secret of their awful decisions, but Hanna, ironically, was rather truthful about all of the incidents involved.

I hope that last thought helps you out a bit as you write about your theme of secrets.  Focus on the secrecy of the Nazis in hiding what they had been doing, and tie it into Hanna and the guards, and what had happened the night in question at the trial.  Good luck!

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The Reader

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