The Liar

Essay by Hizzy27High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2012

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

The Liar Tobias Wolff's short story "The Liar" represents the struggle youth has finding their true self apart from a parental figure. James, the main character in the story lies to try to separate himself from his mother and grow closer to his deceased father. Realistically, James is only a liar, a youth without a direction. However, James is compensating with his father's death through his lies. Without James's father his life is too organized and protected. James uses his lies to escape his mother's protective field and explore what he can make up for himself. From the first page the reader can profile the mother. The third sentence says, ' "So When she found a letter in my drawer that was not addressed to her she read it. "What difference does it make if James has nothing to hide?" '(495) . The biggest red flag is the mother is going through her son's personal items in a room which is supposed to be a safe place.

The equivalent would be as if a mother today went through her son or daughters text messages without their knowledge. It is an invasion of privacy and sheer disrespect to a personal space. All too often this leads to distrust between a mother or father towards their children. James lies because in a way his mother has lied to him. Having a drawer to close is a way of closing off the world from what James kept safe. Subtly, James's mother lied to him by inferring his drawers especially in his room were safe. James is not unaware of his mother's distaste for his personality. On page 499 Wolff writes, "Things were never easy between my mother and me, but I didn't underestimate her. She underestimated me. When I was little she...