Lauren’s unreliability makes this book…so fake. I don’t know what to believe now; it’s taking the magic out of the book. Or should I say I haven’t understood her metaphor yet. Lauren says “I felt to speak would be to betray my mother” (37) when they were talking to Dr. Swan. But after the super maker accident “I wanted to answer, but the words got tangled in my throat” (43) is contradicting herself, because she betrayed her. As she learns how to “fall” she got addicted to it, at the point, where she just does it every time she pleases regardless whether it might be true or not. “I would do it for anyone who asked, and sometimes for anyone who didn’t” (55) I really don’t like being force to believe or lead by others. So far in this book Lauren, has leaded us to believe in scenes created by her and then reveals the truth through a metaphor. “I didn’t really fail into the grave I was using metaphor to try to explain my mental state.”(60) In other words, her spasm, her whole ill was getting worse.
The part where she starts to steal things from her neighbor, I think she was just trying to fill the whole she had. Or the whole epilepsy has created “I slipped her in my pocket, and before I left the house I saw the small space I had made on the Slonicks’ wall, a gap in the middle of human history where Henrietta used to be, and for a minute I felt full, and the emptiness now outside of me.”(70)
I am so much more interested in this book than lolita, probably because I can actually understand everything that is happening. It is more enjoyable to read as I can enjoy the story without having to figure out the puzzle behind it.
In this section, the mother’s role in Lauren’s “epilepsy” is more defined. I believe she is the number one cause of Lauren’s facade. The epilepsy is a cry for help and attention due to the fact that the mother was never as attentive as she should have been. At first, the mother paid attention just because she found that the disease made her child seem more interesting. She used her child to try and become popular; something she could never achieve on her own. Once she realizes that the disease is about Lauren and just Lauren, she loses interest completely and starts writing poetry or something.
In the beginning, Lauren was clearly using the epilepsy to get her mother’s attention and make her care. As time goes on she begins to not care about doing that anymore because she sees its not working. Her mother’s demeanor begins to annoy her and she continually states that she and her mother continued to grow farther and farther apart. “When she cried it was for things so utterly separate from me her tears were personal insults.”(64) It is so baffling to me how a mother could really not care about her child, that is why I dont think her mother does not love her or truly care for her; she is just so self absorbed that her child will always come second unless it is beneficial to her.
At the end of part two, Lauren includes Dr. Carlos Neu and Patricia Robinson’s paper on “The Biophychological Consequences Of A Corpus Callostomy In The Pediatric Patient” (98). She includes this in order to show that she does have epilepsy. According to the paper, “patients may display histrionic personality traits that include the persistent need for attention” (99). This fits Lauren’s desires of taking time, attention and touch when she makes herself have a seizure at several ERs (86). Lauren wants the reader to see the connections with her actions and the doctor’s general analysis of patients with epilepsy.
Lauren admits to lying in the end of chapter 3. She doesn’t actually fall into the grave, but by first telling that she did shows that she wants attention. She was willing to fall into someone else’s grave to gain the attention of the people there. She also did it to escape into her memory of when she was falling down in the snow with the nuns (60). By falling down into the grave, Lauren would be able to take herself to a world that she liked better than the one she was in.
Part two start out a little confusing for me. The narration was is hard to fallow through out the part. The narrator unreliable narration and the mother inference make it difficult to follow the a theme. The mother seem to be in most of the setting of the story. “That school, my mother said, is run by nuns”(p31). The mother continue to play an important role in Lauren life. The mother see to influence the daughter decision in the second part. She could be the reason the lauren is lying about her illness.
“My mother stopped, snapped her mouth shut, and for just a moment she seemed flustered”(p35). Going to the doctor the reader can see how much influence she have over her daughter. Lauren act different when she is around her mother and act another way with the doctor. Eventually the doctor figure out that Lauren is lying to him. He knows that she want to tell the truth but is afraid to hurt her mother feeling and react to her telling her.
Whether Lauren is lying or not is still undetermined by the reader dour the second part.
In part two, I kind of understand the relationship between the mother and daughter but it is still kind of confusing. When Lauren went to the supermarket with her mom, she had a small seizure. Her mom stopped her seizure but was misunderstood. While her mother was being misunderstood and was arrested, Lauren stayed quiet and didn’t her help. Even though she felt sorry, she had this “odd feeling of excitement, like there was mourning and happiness both” (44). She felt sorry for not helping but she felt a bit happy, thinking that she can live in a new environment different than she is living now. When Lauren’s mom got released due to an misunderstanding, her mom send her to a school where she learn how to fall correctly without hurting herself. When Lauren was all packed up and ready to leave, I can feel that she will miss her mom because she said to her mom “I love you, Mom” (46). Which brings tears in her mother’s eyes.
Later in part two, When Lauren learned to fall correctly and went home, she changed. Lauren want to attend this party her classmate is hosting but she wasn’t invited therefore, she lied to her classmate and was invited. A new character was introduced and he is Lauren’s new doctor named Dr. Neu. When the new character Dr. Neu was introduced, she changed a bit. I can feel that Lauren liked her new doctor, Dr. Neu because when she went to visit him, Lauren acted very ladylike.
As the story of Lying continues forward the author grows into a more interesting subject. In the very beginning pages Lauren is stricken with epilepsy but as time progresses she embraces it in many unimaginable ways. She has used it for her for own advantages both pure and otherwise.
For one instance she even used her ailment along with police to get away from her own mother, “The law states,’ the policeman said, ‘that if we deem a child to be in imminent danger, we must place her in the custody of social services” (43). She chose to see life beyond her mother but it was only during her time at Saint Christopher, the special school with the nuns, that she found true freedom. It was there she learned to fall, to live with illness, and not fall prey to it. She learned valuable lessons one being, “That is only by entering emptiness and ugliness, not by covering it up with feathers and sprays, that you find a balance so true, no one can take it away” (53). She draws on her epilepsy as a means of making her life different, but sadly all things must have their end.
As she got older her seizures would get worse and worse which caused her struggles to live a normal life. As her condition grew more difficult so did her desire to fit in with the popular crowd, “At that point, I was still trying to outrun my seizures, and thought I might accomplish that by being mean” (65). Even though she would have her moments of glory it was still not enough for her to enjoy life and so she continued to play on other’s sympathies to raise her status. She would even stoop as low as too over exaggerate her condition, “Epilepsy causes cancer. She believed it. She invited me to her party lickety –split, and Haskell Crocker danced with me, and Danny Harris held my hand, and every girl brought me pink punch” (66).
If Lauren has epilepsy I truly feel sorry for her but not for obvious reasons. I do not feel sorry that she has the illness but I feel sorry that she lost sight on how to appreciate her life although stricken with this handicap.
This section of the novel that I read was surely an interesting one. In fact, some of the parts that I read reminded me of our previous book, Lolita. I’m not sure if it’s the epilepsy, but this girl, Lauren, is quite the individual. In one of these similar parts, Lauren and her mother were confronted by a couple of policemen who accused her mom of child abused. Her description of this encounter went like this, “One knelt down by me and gently blotted my lip with his handkerchief. Right then and there I fell in love.”(p 42) A little girl in love with an older man, now why does that sound so familiar.
Another instance of our novel’s similarities can be found on page 49. When lauren and her class was at the pool, she described the girls in this manor, “if they were twelve or older their nipples pushed out from beneath their suits, lilies those girls, every one. I was a lily too.”(p 49) I don’t know why but for some reason, the term “lily” that was used here reminds me of how Humbert from Lolita calls his little girls “nymphets”.
Finally, from pages 58 to 59, Lauren describes falling in a grave and climbing out and ends with “The End”(p 59) However, on the next page she starts with not quite, and explains that she didn’t fall into the grave. She confesses that “I was just using a metaphor to try to explain my mental state…and I thought about falling in.”(p 60) She acknowledges the fact that her mind is unstable and she is changing the story a bit by telling us one thing, while in reality, something else happened. Overall, what I think, Lauren is like Humbert but in Lolita’s body.
In this section we actually understand to a greater length what the author is trying to tell us in this story. As a result of her illness, she practices how to fall without hurting herself and also the right approach in dealing with society when diseased. I think we find it here that although she was skeptical about her condition, she still found ways in dealing with the outside world and she explains that throughout this section. “There was a world out there, and I didn’t have to be a part of it, and slowly I saw the privilege of this” (74). This quote to me summed up the whole purpose of this section and that was to find acceptance not only from others but from herself. Although she was accepting of who she was, a surgery was still a possibility for her in order to treat the epilepsies.
She went to numerous hospitals and talked with a doctor about the possible halting of the seizures but that would require him to section her corpus callosum which I defined as basically splitting her brain in two. She went on to document the doctors result as saying that her treatment does not have no effect of behavior and personality towards others. This was really interesting as she found it to blame all her lying, stealing and inappropriate behavior as a result of the seizures. But this turned out not to be the case as she concluded. In fact this was her natural personality so is it still acceptable is a question that I wanna see answered and I think I will. Is this book about her real state or is all this a lie?
I was a bit confused at first because the way she described her mom I thought it was ironic. I mean at one point get mom was this strict character and here I m reading her as a person who support her in the things she want to do. “Before and at first even after my seizures stated, I skated at a pond. For years my mother had been buying me books about Champions… and when it came to ice, my mother thought I had potential”(pg.27). It does seem that she is giving the idea that get mother is nor as bad as she seem. But again is really hard to believe whether or not her words is telling the truth. One thing I believe she does love to skate. Now I also found that she kind of gives this scenario where skating is similar to how her life is. “You have to push your self first to go out in the cold. ..sharks and whales are waiting for you, and then to lasso against your beget judgement, when your whole self is longing just to nap”(pg.28). So I feel she is passionate towards that sport and how much suffering you have to go through to be good shows her suffering in a sense.