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Word Count: 1,579
Author Sara Paddison professed Speaking from the heart frees us from the secrets that burden us Nothing makes us lonelier than our secrets By confiding in others we are liberated from the fears and miseries we have kept inside of us But our confidants must be people who can handle these secrets that once burdened us In Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Arjie bears the burden of other peoples secrets Arjie does not fit the stereotype of a typical Tamil boy Due to this his family and friends suspect he is hiding his homosexuality something even he himself does not fully understand Similarly they have their own desires to conceal from the world Radha Aunty uses Arjie to help her pursue a forbidden relationship Amma trusts him to conceal her affair and Shehan confides in Arjie to relieve his emotional and sexual frustrations Arjie shows enough maturity that they believe he understands societys cultural and social limitations of conforming to the social norm His ability to carry on with life while hiding his true emotions allows Radha Aunty Amma and Shehan to confide in him their own secretsRadha Aunty is able to confide in Arjie about her forbidden relationship with Anil Jayasinghe a Sinhalese man From the first time they met Radha Aunty shows that she not only accepts but is pleasantly surprised with Arjies efforts to keep his own secrets When she asks him why he wasnt playing with the others he quickly claims he didnt want to Through Arjies thoughts Selvadurai reveals that Radha Aunty seems as though she doesnt mind Arjies confidentiality She looked keenly and smiled as if she didnt believe me She lacked that terrible curiosity other adults had which made them insist on knowing things you were uncomfortable telling Selvadurai 48 The fact that she accepts Arjies secrets signifies that she values secrecy herself foreshadowing her desires to hide her forbidden relationship with Anil later on in the
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