The Liar Symbols & Objects

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Lies

James’ lies symbolize the unknowability of the self. James does not seem to know why he is so often compelled to lie, but there appears to be some deep-rooted reason behind it. Both the reader and Mother are compelled to uncover this reason, but no conclusive answers are given. Thus, this enigmatic facet of James’ personality cannot be fully grasped by rationality.

Letter

The letter symbolizes the tension between James and his mother. When Mother finds the letter, she is distraught, as its contents prove that James has not ceased his habit of lying. The letter leads to the story’s semi-climactic confrontation between James and his mother, although the story does not guarantee that this confrontation has completely dispelled the tension.

Prayer

Prayer symbolizes Mother’s sense of pain and desperation. After discovering the letter, James’ mother feels discouraged regarding the possibility of James ceasing...

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This section contains 417 words
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Buy The Liar Study Guide
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