'The Ways We Lie' by Stephanie Ericsson: Summary and Critique

Good Essays
Topics: Lie
Amardeep Kaur

English 1100

Professor Joakin Nilsson

5 June, 2012

The Ways We Lie

Summary

In “The Ways We Lie,” Stephanie Ericsson presents the idea about how lies exist in the everyday aspects of our lives. She describes ten different forms of lies that individuals use. She defines a lie as “a false statement or action especially made with the intend to deceive” on page no.409 of Bedford Reader. In her essay she argues that everybody lies and tries to find excuses to justify it. She provides personal examples including lying about being stuck in traffic, lying to her husband and her friend. Ericsson talks about how always telling the truth is difficult and it almost seems impossible. The first lie she talks about is “white lie” which assumes that the truth will cause more damage than a simple harmless untruth. An example that she uses to portray this lie is telling a friend he looks great when he looks like hell. The second lie she talked about is facades, which is putting up a front to conform to society’s expectations in the sense that there may be a large difference between the ways that an individual presents themselves from the way that they truly are. Moreover she said that ignoring the plain facts is itself a form of lying. In example, people were ignoring the truth of priest being in denial because they needed him and believed that his treatment had cured their children. Deflecting is the other lie in which she said that sometimes when people want to hide the truth they tend to scream at the other person in order to deflect the attention off them. Furthermore she implies that omission involves telling most of the truth minus one or two key facts that change the story completely. The author provides an example of a different version of the story Adam and Eve. For stereotypes and clichés, she talks about how in an attempt to gain a vast amount of knowledge, individuals are often taught generalized ideas about



Cited: Ericsson, Stephanie. “The Ways We Lie.” The Bedford Reader. ED. X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy and Jane E. Aaron. 11th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2012. 13-15. Print

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