Ideas and Beliefs in Justine Larbalestier's 'Liar'

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Truth Pages: 3 (1019 words) Published: June 20, 2013
“To what extent were your ideas and or beliefs confirmed and/or challenged and extended by Justine Larbalestier’s novel Liar?”

Justine Larbalestier’s enthralling novel Liar features unreliable protagonist, Micah Wilkins, dealing with issues of identity and truth. I have come to realise, through studying Larbalestier’s novel, that the ideas of truth and identity can be extensively challenged, that lies can become someone’s identity. Micah’s cryptic character has forced me to question what I trust and who I think I am. I have been faced with rethinking my views on sexuality, gender roles, guilt and the real meaning of ‘truth’ due to Micah’s questionable and unpredictable words.

Due to society’s restrictive and sexist attitudes towards what is considered male or female, people who don’t fit neatly into a category face issues of identity and belonging. Micah’s relationship with her sexuality and how she perceives gender roles is extraordinarily untidy and indecisive. Being a teenage feminist myself, I can identify with Micah not desiring to subscribe to gender roles although I’m not entirely sure Micah is avoiding acting and looking conventionally ‘feminine’ because of feminist views. I believe Micah is genderqueer or transgender and too afraid to embrace it because it is a hard truth for her to face, “Being a boy was fast becoming my favourite lie” (p.8). When Micah talks about her taking the pill to supress her periods she says “I wish I was a man” and that “[Her mother] thought having your period was what made you a woman” (p. 57). Perhaps Larbalestier is implying that Micah is not a woman because she doesn’t experience menstruation? Being a woman comes with oppression no matter what class or race you are in; this oppression is more often than not related to sex. Micah constantly refers to being called a ‘slut’ by her peers, “By kissing [Sarah and Tayshawn] first I confirmed the thousand slut calls…” (p.238). I believe there is a part of Micah that...
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