Why did Mr Ripley deceive others and himself about his identity?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ripley's main reason for deception stems from his wanting to live the life of someone other than himself. He is full of self-loathing and so mimics others to create a new persona so he can break free of his lowly upbringing. He is embarrassed by his lack of financial means and working class social status. He make an effort to get close to people of the upper class who represent culture, wealth, and social standing. Once he manages to ingratiate himself with such people, he learns how to imitate the way they dress and speak, their body language and gestures, so that he can assume their identities. 

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

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