Shame In Chanda's Secrets By Allan Stratton

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The Impact of Shame in Chanda’s Secrets Could you imagine hiding a secret for your whole life that was not by your volition. Mrs. Tafa’s son Emmanuel was hiding his infection with HIV/AIDS from his family throughout his life until he found the only way is to commit suicide and hide the disease with him. In the novel Chanda’s Secrets, Allan Stratton shows how the shame that comes along with HIV/AIDS breaks up healthy relationships and hides the truth, depresses the person’s life, but can also create hope through true relationships.
Throughout the novel shame was represented as a painful feeling of indignity that was caused by wrong deportment. First of all, shame and secrets are partly connected and represent the main topics of the novel. In Chanda’s community, …show more content…

When Mrs. Tafa finally accepted the truth of her son’s death and said, “‘As part of the physical, his doctor gave him an AIDS test. The test came back positive (…) he was afraid we wouldn’t love him anymore’”(186), she told Chanda that Emmanuel did not die because of a hunting accident. Mrs. Tafa had finally released the truth about Emmanuel’s death to Chanda and how he was afraid his family will shame him because of the disease and then he will not have a place to live, so he decided to kill himself in order to avoid all these problems. It is obvious that in Chanda’s community, folks who are infected with HIV/AIDS treat it as a secret thinking that they might be shunned from their society. In addition, secrets had also turned to Chanda especially during mama’s sickness and her travel to Tiro. Chanda and her mama used the role of secrets in order to stay away from spreading rumors. Firstly, mama has used secrets when she said to Chanda, “‘Now, one last thing before I go (...) she had a new baby and you’re helping her out’”(124). Mama wanted to ensure that Chanda and the two kids would be able to hide the secret about mama's travel to Tiro by answering the folks in specific answers that prevent them

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