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.