True Lies Essay

True Lies Essay

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The partner’s truth and lie are fickle creatures. They can change, morph, or grow into something entirely unlike what they were when they started. When multiple lies are told, they can snowball, creating catastrophic effects. The lines often blur between the two, until it is impossible to tell which started as the truth, and which the lie. What begins as a small, white lie can, like a black hole, consume all that comes near it. The characters in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour are defined by lies. Whether told by them, about them, or to them, these lies are begun by individuals who do not foresee the damage that they can cause. While those who began the rumors are responsible for the results of their actions, those who accept and believe these lies are equally accountable. By telling and spreading these lies, the individuals receive instant gratification, as they are elevated in the eyes of others. In societies where appearances and reputations are extremely important, individuals such as Abigail, Reverend Parris, and Mary are willing to destroy others with their lies in order to elevate and protect their own status and power.
Abigail is the main instigator in the Salem witch trials. As a young, unmarried, orphaned girl in Salem, she has little power. Any mark on her reputation would further lower her status. Observations of Abigail show her to be a hot-tempered girl who does not take kindly to being ruled. However, she is not immune to societal fears of stains on an individual’s reputation. Her lies are used to deflect blame from herself onto others. This begins after her and the rest of the girls have been caught dancing in the woods. When she is first questioned about the incident, Abby s...


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...n their lies to continue to wield it. These works show the effects of power in the hands of individuals who desire it. A person who wants power and attention will do what they can to hold on to it, even at the expense of others. Movie stars, politicians, athletes—they all have felt power, and are often the subject of scandal as they attempt to get it back. Gossip is also used for individuals to get a small, fleeting glimpse of power. Being in control of what another person believes is intoxicating, even if what they are being told is not true. Gossip and rumors, however harmless they may seem, still can swallow truth completely, as is seen in these two works. The quick spread of gossip shows that no one is immune to power, however they may deny it. This desire is a primordial one that unconsciously consumes individuals from a very young age until the day they die.

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