Lying: a Metaphorical Memoir by Lauren Slater

Topics: Want, Empathy, Truth Pages: 4 (1671 words) Published: April 4, 2012
Essay: What does the narrator seem to want from the reader? How does she go about getting what she wants?

The meta-truth: metaphorical truth

In Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, Lauren Slater attempts to create a new kind of truth called metaphorical truth: emotional truth explained using metaphors instead of facts. She confuses fact and fiction even though it is a memoir and thus creates a convoluted tale of herself where she may or may not be epileptic. Initially, the readers believe that she uses metaphorical truth to make them understand the essence of her life. By the end of the book, they begin to also believe that she wants to ask them, as a last resort, to help her in her healing process by the following: giving her much need attention and through that, letting her clear her conscience of guilt over the wrong acts that she had committed. They feel that she is successful in this aim because of the use of metaphorical truth. Firstly, this metaphorical truth gives rise to two different emotions within groups of readers that motivate the same overall action of them helping her. Secondly, it acts as a leverage to ensure that they cannot critically judge her. At first, the readers think that Slater only wants them to understand the essence of her life for which she uses metaphorical truth. Throughout the text, she continuously contradicts herself by telling them something and then denying that it’s true. She presents a range of possibilities in her account such that there is no clear, definite sense of factual truth anymore. And yet, being a memoir, it has to be true in some form at least. So she brings a little more clarity to her account by explicitly expressing her need to tell her tale to the readers, the tale of the emotional truth in her life. She suggests that she could be inventing diseases that she was never afflicted with but only because her mental state is best explained by the metaphor of the disease. She first suggests this when she says, “I...
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