In our first reading we learn about Lauren’s symptoms of epilepsy. We also learn that we must question the narrator. The reliability of the narrator is quite questionable. The title itself is “I exaggerate”. Nonetheless we are introduced with descriptions of what Lauren calls “jasmine world”. I found this to be a very interesting read. Particularly because I am not quite sure what the diesease epilepsy entails. It is crazy to think that a sypmptom of this disease are to experience strange smells. Lauren writes, “I have epilepsy. Or I feel I have epilepsy. Or I wish I had epilepsy, so I could find a way of explaining the dirty, spastic glittering place I had in my mother’s heart.” (5-6) She herself is unsure of whether or not she truly has this disease! If she does not know how are we the readers suppose to know. It appears that she has a poor relationship with her mother. Perhaps she wants to believe she has epilepsy because she believes that then her mother would pay more love and attention to her. This would be common behavior from a child.
Laureen is a young girl with epilepsy and had her first seisure at the age of ten. She tends to exaggerate her sickness, and her mother after the first seisure thinks it is the end of her. Laureen blames everything from her being epilepic, wheather it be about her seeing colors, hearing musis, smelling things or being tired. As a female myselfI would be the same way of being dramatic especially not knowing the symptoms of my illness. I thinks girls are more dramatic than boys in general with emotions and etc. Laureen later learns about her epilepsy in a moive she watched in school. I even learned about the damages one can cause to themselves from epilepsy. Some that I found weird was the biting of ones mouth and grinding of their teeth. Considering her condition she had no word when asked by doctors how she felt. I thought that was strange, if I were in Laureen situation I would express deeply how I felt every minute of the day when in pain. I also thought it was normal for people to hear music in their head but not Laureen, the noise bothered her making her crazy “I flamencoed on the floor, feathers came out of my ears, and my body made music, ,ade thunder and sleep, made Mozart, my hands curled into lobster claws.” (24). The epilepsy drove Laureen into seeing and hearing things that were unreasonable. If I were to be diagnosed I would probalbly go crazy myslef
While reading the first part if lying,it questioned my mindset in life. the narrator opened my mind that by human nature,man lie as a whole specie. it is not that we choose to lie ourself, it is a force of nature to deceit when face telling. We lie to keep face with one’s feeling. The narrator stats how a friend of his could not find a gift for another friend. Not able to buy the gift, so she use the condiments in her hotel. When she gave her friend the condiments to her friend, she lied. The only way the truth came out was through her son. This made an awkward moment for the two friends. It is something about young children mind that makes them always tell the truth. I believe that with little kids, the way their minds work are to believe that telling truth would not get them in trouble. After telling the truth for so many times, they realize that the truth only brings pain to our love ones. They begin to learn how to tell white lies to justify someone’s request. The truth hurts because as human, we know that if someone gives us a gift and we hate it,what can you say besides that you like it. We appreciate the gesture but what contains in the gift, does not fit into our style. The question we ask ourself is how to play it off without seeming like a jerk. Lying is an everyday thing that we can not help.we spare peoples emotion because we rather as humans to be done to us in that same manner.
When reading part one of Lying it made think if everything the narrator says can be reliable. “Epilepsy is a fascinating disease because some epileptics are liars, exaggerators, makers of myths and high-flying stories” (6). After reading this I said to myself, so when is she lying? How do I know if everything she says is just a lie? How far can she be trusted with what she says? Does she just want attention? I can already see that reliability is going to be an issue just like there was with Humbert and his writing. The narrator then goes and tells us more of her sickness which is epilepsy and how this sickness often starts with strange smells that are bad or good; her having the good smell. It was kind of interesting learning further of this sickness I didn’t really know about and how it can cause this odor smell and other things I wasn’t aware of.
The narrator sounds as like she wants to make her parents happy but more to her mom but due to her sickness she really can’t do it. She believes her mom deserves the best and from what she says her dad doesn’t achieve that. Her mother seems the dominant in the relationship that whatever she says goes and her dad just has to go along with it. I feel that also the narrator doesn’t get the most attention that she wants especially from her mother. “Some time during the night my father must have told her… and so I waited, but she never appeared to nurse me that night, and this is a grudge i still hold” (20). After her first seizure her mom was nowhere to be found and when her dad told mom about it she seem not to give it importance like she should’ve have. The narrator wants more attention towards her due to fact that she suffering from this sickness and I feel that when she exaggerates thats the reason that she does it. She wants more attention from her parents but for the most part her mother.
I am very intrigued with this story and find it very easy to read. What I find the most interesting is the mother character. I can tell she creates the most conflict in the story. What I really want to find out is why she is so displeased or unimpressed with her life. It is evident that she does not care about her husband an very minimally about her daughter. The first time her daughter had a seizure, the narrator notes, “so I waited, but she never appeared to nurse me that night, and this is a grudge I still hold”(20). Any caring mother would have ran to their child the minute they heard something had happened to them. but not her, she didnt even care enough to leave her bed.
The narrator has already proven her unreliability, a theme we are all too familiar with. She explicitly states that she exaggerates, as it is the only claim made in the first chapter. She also says, “Epilepsy shoots your memory to hell, so take what I say, or don’t. This I think I recall”(24). It is up to the reader to decide what they are going to take as fiction and fact, a point that is very big to the narrator.
Well I find the narrator’s secret world a place to escape reality in a sense. When I say that I mean she is trying not to get involved within her parents quarrels so the narrator at the time is ten who has epilepsy. “My father was too small, my mother too big”(12) this is where I saw what is ahead. I had interpreted this quote as the mother is asking for too much and the father is just satisfied. At first glance I see the narrator looking up to the mother since she is a out going person and does for the community, and the father is given little description like all he does is work.
Well they seem to be complete opposites in part 1 it could change later on. There is clear signs of external conflict like the fights the mother and father has(14). This as well can be a sign of financial struggling which was mention in the fight but one thing has gotten me. I think the mother influences the narrator to try and overcome her illness by encouraging that you can conquer anything through will. I find this a role model since not only the mother goes through her own problems but still has the chance to teach her daughter how try and improve situations.
The father seems to be absent from her inner life but there is not enough interactions to come up with anything so far. The more I think about the lobster part, the more it seems their fights are more about finances maybe because of medication. But it is clear that there is a distant between her parents, “they were lying on their separate sides of the bed.”(23)
“I exaggerate” (3)
These two words so simple, yet torturing to the mind. The first chapter, perhaps foreshadows what is to come. This also allows us to see exactly how unreliable the narration might be due to her “illness”. Which even before the book starts is said, “by the end of the book, the reader is, indeed, left to wonder whether, or to what degree, Ms. Slater has suffered epilepsy”. Are we yet again left as judges? Its amazing because i feel if she is as intricate with her use of words, as humbert was, will this story take us through another roller coaster ride?!
Anita, the mother who seems to be unhappy with her life. Yet both her husband and her daughter, seem to hopelessly seek for happiness through their own actions. “I think i loved her, or, like me, her unhappiness was his. He partnered up with Irving Busney in the bakery business”(11). To give her a vacation, to be able to afford the piano, to not have his manhood torn from him. Which in many instances we see.
Comfortable read, intriguing, and enjoyable. I definitely wonder though if its because of the mother she is suffering her “illness” or because of the unstable household she is living in, due to both of her parents.
Slater’s description of her mother makes me believe that her mother is spoiled. Slater’s mother sees herself as better than everyone else. She wanted to enjoy lobster but, she “couldn’t lower herself to partake” since “it required bibs and thongs, scraping green gunk from dark places” (16). She brags about things to her friends that never actually happened during their vacation like painting and buying a second home.
Her husband no longer seems to be good enough for her. They argue a lot “about bills and house repairs, vacations and cars” (7). Slater’s mother likes to treat herself; buying herself a Steinway piano without letting anyone know. She disregards that fact that they can afford it but, blames their money issues on her husband. Slater knew that only hope held them up but, they could crash at any time (20).
I think lying is a human nature, almost as of our body. If this book its call Lying and the first chapter is “I exaggerate” how can I assume everything that follows is real? Feels like Humbert’s style, unreliable narrator. I was attracted to her description of epilepsy, how alive it feels; the first symptom the smell of Jasmine “I didn’t know, then, that epilepsy often begins with strange smells” (4). How she describes after her first seizure the visual of her teeth during spasms of epilepsy “your grit your teeth, you clench, a spastic look crawls across your face …you grind your teeth with such a force you might wake up with a mouth full of molar dust”(19).
The narrator’s mother, what’s up with her, she didn’t care about her first seizure “and so I waited, but she never appeared to nurse me that night, and this is a grudge I still hold.” (20). and the part before that, where she just played the all-knowing and never touch the piano.
I was really surprised that this book was really about lying. I always believed that you should not judge a book by its cover but here it was the first time that I was right. Now judging from what I read so far, I couldn’t understand whether it was true or not. ” Everyone knows that alot of memoirs have made-up scenes it’s obvious. And everyone knows that half the time at least fictions contain literal autobiographical truths. So how do we decide what’s what and does it even matter?”. When I first read that quote it made me think whether this was true or just a story that was meant for a cover up. In some easy or kind of reminds me of the boy who cried Wolf. I feel it follows the same concept.