Essay: We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published on: July 16, 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2
  • We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
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Over the course of the summer, I was on and off with a book that I came to really appreciate. I was hesitant at first to enjoy it, but once I really dove into it, I found a lot of material worth discussing. In the book, “We Were Liars”, by E. Lockhart, I noticed there were tons of connections, predictions, comparisons, and several personal thoughts.

“We Were Liars” is centered around the Sinclair family, a properly behaved wealthy family who by all appearances are beautiful, athletic and intelligent. As you look closer at this family, their flaws become stronger and their perfect display diminishes. They soon become a family of greed, jealousy, and racism. Towards the end of the book, Cadence finds herself trapped in this perfect, or in reality not- so perfect household. The Sinclair’s look perfect and “cookie cutter” on the outside, but on the inside, their walls are falling and chaos is erupting.

Although I had a bit of a tough time discovering the author’s purpose; once I did a little digging, I found exactly what I was looking for. I think the author’s main purpose or central theme of writing “We Were Liars” was to show the audience that you should fight for what you believe in. Throughout the story, the main character Cadence continues to see more flaws in the character of her family. Cadence wanted to take action in destroying these flaws. In her mind, she thought that by burning down the estate, it would eliminate the fighting and dysfunction amongst her family. She believed that if there was no house to fight over, then perhaps their family would become as close as they once were. In the text, a scene is set where Gat, Cadence’s love, and Cadence are sitting on the beach. They’re both upset because Gat may have to leave the island due to Cadence’s grandfather’s disapproval. In the text, it states, “What if we took it into our own hands? And Gate said How? And I said something about what if what if they could stop fighting?…. What if we can somehow stop being the beautiful Sinclair family and just be the Sinclair family? What if we could stop being different colors, different backgrounds, and just be in love?…. I want to take action, I said,”. (Lockhart 179-180). Cadence believed that she could eliminate her family’s imperfections. She thought that maybe she could do something to stop the fighting, rather than letting nonsense go on. She wanted to stand up and fight for her beliefs. She took action and fought for her chance to get a family who is content with the simple things, one who wouldn’t get jealous of the other family members, and shares love.

While reading, I discovered that this novel could be compared to “Romeo and Juliet”, by William Shakespeare. In “We Were Liars,” there is a forbidden love between Gat and Cadence, similar to how Romeo and Juliet are prohibited to see each other due to their families rivalries. In addition, both stories result in a bitter and despondent ending; Romeo and Juliet are both dead at the end of the play, and Cadence finds herself trapped in an amiss household. While the similarities between these texts are present, differences also are incorporated. Throughout the entire play, there is constant brawling between the two families that the audience is uninformed about. In contrast, “We Were Liars,” contains an explanation as to why their relationship is unacceptable; Cadence and Gat are two different races and it’s considered inadmissible to the families. Each story contains a plot and examples which can be compared and contrasted as demonstrated by the above reasons.
At the beginning of my reading, I felt that it would be important to make predictions on characters, lifestyles, and morals of the book. One prediction I had throughout the book was that the family fights would become a huge problem in the story. The fights started small but as the story progressed, so did the fights, creating a huge impact on the kids. This caused them to take matters into their own hands. After every fight, nothing had been resolved, lagging each dispute onto the next. The bigger the fight became, the more Cadence wanted to take action to stop them from causing big problems such as death, grief, and guilt in the end.

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