In Kelly Link’s two short stories, “The Summer People” and “Origin Story”, the plots revolve around two girls who are both young, that share one common characteristic: deceitfulness. In the end of each novel, both protagonists are revealed to be lying to other characters; however, though both lie, the two lies are completely different from one another. In the first story “The Summer People”, the lie told by the protagonist Fran is harmful and cruel, but in the second short story “Origin Story”, the lie told by the protagonist Bunnatine is meant to protect someone she cares about. In the end, Link creates two different perspectives for the reader as to whether lying is bad or good within her two short stories “Origin Story” and “The Summer People” by utilizing plot, character development, and imagery.
The main thing Link utilizes to compare the two different lies is the plot, which proves that the lie told in “The Summer People” is malicious and used for self-gain, while the lie in “Origin Story” is for unselfish reasons. In both stories, the lies are revealed by the end of the plot, and this is mainly due to Link’s love for detective stories and she even states in one interview that what makes a good story are the stories that make the reader question “Who did what and why and how?” and she also states that, “We’re hardwired to find that interesting,” (Attebery). In revealing these lies at the end of both short stories, she leaves the reader with many questions and a totally new perspective on the plot itself. For instance, in “The Summer People”, the protagonist Fran tricks a nice and helpful girl by the name of Ophelia into taking her place as the caretaker of a group of mystical people known as the summer people (Link 5-40)....
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... in the end, she knows it is worth it. Therefore, Bunnatine’s lie is so great; it is done out of care and love, and this is shown by imagery within the story.
In the end, it is clear to the reader that Fran’s lie in “The Summer People” is terrible and only for her own benefit when compared to Bunnatine’s lie in “Origin Story”. Kelly Link is an extremely talented author who continues to tackle cultural issues using her writing. In these two short stories, she tackled the issue of lying; however, instead of picking only one perspective on a lie, she settled on two: the harmful lie, which can be seen in “The Summer People” and the selfless lie that can be seen in “Origin Story”. She compared these two types of lies perfectly using plot, character development, and imagery, and in the end, the reader was left to self-reflect upon what exactly a lie means to him or her.
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