The Liar Themes & Motifs

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Family

The story focuses on family dynamics as its main source of narrative and thematic substance, specifically with an emphasis on the turbulence but persistent optimistic potential that often defines such relationships. The most significant relationship in the story is that of James and his mother. As James states in narration, Things were never easy between my mother and me…Even things I did well got on her nerves” (41). James views his relationship with his mother as generally defined by this dysfunction, especially since he has developed a habit of lying compulsively. However, the story ultimately presents an optimistic view of such family dysfunction, framing it as normal and surmountable. In one of the final scenes of the story, Mother hugs James, and “her embrace was sincere” (51). This moment emphasizes the importance and durability of family relationships even in the face of dysfunction.

Another significant relationship in...

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This section contains 1,368 words
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Buy The Liar Study Guide
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