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Mirrors Don’t Lie in Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s The Lie

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s The Lie – Mirrors Don’t Lie

In The Lie by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Eli Remenzel is a thirteen-year-old boy on his way to The Whitehill Preparatory School with his parents. Little do they know that Eli is keeping a big secret from them: he didn’t get accepted to the school. As the story unfolds Eli finally cracks under the pressure of the lie as the headmaster informs his parents that he wasn’t accepted at Whitehill. What happens next is a disaster. As I was reading the story I noticed a lot of qualities in the different characters that are traits I see in myself. Eli, his mother Sylvia, and his father Doctor Remenzel all have different characteristics that reflect me. These characteristics are what blend together to make me a unique individual.

First I’ll focus on the similarities between Eli and myself. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. writes, “Eli sat up again, but began to slump almost immediately (…) hoping to die or disappear.” This was written while Eli kept the secret from his parents. As I reread the passage I disliked the way Eli decided to handle his secret. Instead of coming right out and telling his parents what the problem was, he ignored it, and every mile they drove it became bigger and harder to hold in. Notice the word slump in the above passage from the story. This was the first thing to pop out at me indicating our similarity, because the word creates a vivid picture of myself when I am in similar situations. I felt Eli’s frustration building, and I realized I handle problems with my family in the same way. My parents never have the same reaction to a problem, so I’m always scared that they’ll be angry or disappointed in me. This causes me to do exact…

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…tor Rememzel, I accomplished nothing embarrassed myself, yet the next time I was unhappy I would repeat my actions over again. I no longer throw temper tantrums, but I do speak before I think and often say and do things that I do not mean. Unlike the other previously mentioned faults, I am quite aware of this one, and I recognized the similarities between Doctor Remenzel and myself right away.

In conclusion, I disliked The Lie, because the characters in it exemplify the worst qualities in myself. Whether it’s not being honest with my family, being self-absorbed, or my uncontrollable temper, I cannot like characters that possess these traits because I hate these traits within myself. Reading about the characters is like looking into a mirror, and like the title says, mirrors don’t lie.

The Feminist Perspective of Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare is a play that is ahead of its time in its views toward gender roles within society. Katherine is a woman who is intelligent, and is not afraid to assert her views on any given situation. She is paired with another obstinate character in Pertuchio. The Marriage formed between the two is a match made in heaven for two reasons. First Because Katherine is strong enough to assert her views, and more importantly, she realizes when she should assert them. The second reason the bond survives is that Petruchio is strong enough to accept the fact that Katherine has a mind and, more importantly he loves her for that reason. Petruchio cleverly weaves the relationship into the framework of society without compromising the integrity of the relationship. Petruchio does this by comparing Katherine’s at attitude to repulsive clothing. Carefully and calculatingly, Petruchio forges a relationship that is envied by all who witness it.

Called “cursed Kate” throughout the play, Katherine is openly jealous of the attention he sister is receiving, whereas she, because she speaks her mind, is being bypassed and even avoided in the wooing process. Katherine reveals this attitude in act 2 scene1, lines 31-35, “nay, now i see she is your treasure, she must have a husband; i must dance barefoot on my wedding day, and for your love to her, lead the apes to hell. Talk not to me i will sit and weep!….” This anger is not concealed, it serves to provide motivation as to why a rational person would rebuke petrucchio so rudely upon first encountering him. Katherine surely realizes that petruchio is interested in her for ulterior motives other than love. Be it purse that the dowry will bring or the actions of an…

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… between Petruchio and Kate is contrasted with the superficial properness of the relationship of bianca and lucentio.

In this play as any other, Shakespeare proves to be a visionary. Petruchio achieves his goal through witty persuasion rather than resorting to beating his wife like many a man before him has done. Though Shakespeare does not go as far as some feminists would like him to, Shakespeare does much for the fight of equality of the sexes. Katherine’s as strong, or stronger than any woman in Shakespeare’s plays. The amazing thing is that she achieves this without ulterior motives such as lady Macbeth. She is an honest, bright independent woman. She is not underscored by her subservience to petruchio in public, for “the sun breaks through the darkest cloud” and so do Katherine’s assets break though the public visage of subordination to her husband.

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