Nothing but the Truth: A Documentary Novel Questions and Answers
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What is the irony with Philip's parents inĀ Nothing but the Truth?

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It's ironic indeed that Philip's parents have been sticking up for him all this time, when all the while he's been lying through his teeth to them. He's been spinning them the line that a patriotic young student has been banned from signing the national anthem by a vindictive teacher. And without bothering to acquaint themselves with the facts, his parents have instinctively believed him and leaped to his defense.

Yet Philip has been leading his parents on a merry dance. He's not really patriotic at all; in fact, he doesn't even know the words to the national anthem, as we discover at the end of the story when Philip moves to a new school. But Mr. and Mrs. Molloy have automatically gone along with Philip's distorted version of events, and this has given their son the confidence and the gall to go back to school and continue causing trouble, especially for poor old Miss Narwin.

Parents are supposed to be in charge of their children. But in this case, it's a classic example of the tail wagging the dog. It's Philip who's in charge; he's the one calling the shots. His parents go into bat for him, convinced of the truth of his story. Yet it's all based on nothing more than a bare-faced lie.

It is supremely ironic that Mr. and Mrs. Molloy, in acting as they believe responsible parents should act, are inadvertently undermining their own parental authority, not to mention the authority of Miss Narwin.

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