How do lies help free Paul from the bonds of society and at the same time become a burden and how does lying hurt Paul's own sense of self? I missed class when my teacher discussed this topic. I had a very hard time with this read and am quite confused with the story it's self. I hope that my question doesn't seem like 2 separate questions, it all ties in i just didn't know how to word it all together.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lies help free Paul by allowing him to pass through life without entering in to as great an overt conflict with anyone, as when he lies to the principal. Other lies are part of the way he defies the rules, which defines character. They also allow him, on the simplest level, to do what he wants and go where he wants, without parental permission. These lies, however, seem to trap him as well. He seems caught in his opposition, even as he is freed to be stronger than other boys. Lying makes him an outsider.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial