Our Endless Numbered Days Themes & Motifs

Claire Fuller
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Deceit

Fuller’s novel demonstrates the harmful and potentially traumatic effects of deceit. Most obviously, James is the novel’s primary deceiver, for he tells Punzel that “the rest of the world has gone” and has been destroyed after a relatively minor thunderstorm (150). Because Punzel is young and naïve, she accepts her father’s lie as truth, unwittingly agreeing to spending the next nine years estranged from civilization. During this time, James consistently reinforces his lie, showing Punzel the “Great Divide” on the other side of which is “only emptiness,” and making Punzel promise she will never go there (192). In effect, James uses deceit as a form of entrapment, forcing Punzel to stay with him through his descent into madness. In this way, Fuller sets up a latent connection between deceit and entrapment, implying that lies will always trap both the liar and the believer.

Indeed...

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