The Truth About Lies in Nothing But the Truth

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"Nothing but the Truth" is a pun, really, to the theme of the book. In a court of law, the judge will make a witness swear on the bible that they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Which is not always the case. People tell small lies, exaggerate, and often bend the truth, so to speak, and the end result is something far from the truth. This book is about honesty, or its lack thereof. Specifically, the theme is about how bending the truth can create more problems then just telling the truth would have been.

The first lie, or stretching of the truth, comes from Phillip, when he tells his dad that no one likes Miss Narwin, that she's a bad teacher, and no one does well in her classes (28). And that no one understands what she teaches (29). I believe the truth is that most students like her, and most do well in her class. But he doesn't. Maybe if he hadn't told his dad this, and just said that he himself was the one he was describing, his dad might not have felt so surely that Miss Narwin was a bad teacher.
Then, the first time Phillip starts humming the Star-Spangled Banner, he tells his dad about Miss Narwin yelling at him to stop (44), omitting the fact that the announcements specifically say to be quiet. She was also not yelling, but rather just speaking in a firm, strict tone of voice. And then when Phillip was sent to Dr. Palleni, the second time he was disturbing class with his humming, he told him that he was doing it to be patriotic (51). That was very untrue, he was obviously doing it to annoy Miss Narwin. So later on, when Phillip gets suspended for getting sent to the office twice in one week and refuses to apologize to Miss Narwin, he tells his dad about it again, his dad decides to talk t...

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... acting out in school and the teacher doing her job, trying to teach in a undisturbed environment, everything would've gone just right. A few lies, half-truths, and the whole thing came crumbling down. How fragile. It especially ended badly for Phillip and Miss Narwin. Phillip, who just wanted to join track and to be right, ended up having the whole student body disliking him. And Miss Narwin, who only wished to enlighten young minds with the joys of literature, ended up considering to leave the one thing she loved. Sure, a few people got what they wanted, but, I'm pretty sure, no one reading the story liked those people. If only they had just all stuck by the truth, if only, the story could have concluded differently. Less problems, less elephants. If only it really was nothing but the truth, but then maybe there wouldn't have been anything to write the story about.

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