We Were Liars Character Analysis

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We Were Liars, an award-winning young-adult novel by E. Lockhart, takes place on a small, private family island off the coast of Massachusetts. Narrator, Cadence Sinclair, suffered an accident during her fifteenth summer on the island, which left her with crippling migraines and amnesia. She views herself as damaged and believes she no longer fits with her rich, athletic, and beautiful family. To complicate matters further, nobody will reveal to her the details surrounding the accident. Nearly two years later, she returns to the island and rekindles her past relationships with her constant companions, cousins Johnny and Mirren, and an outsider boy she had a romantic relationship with, Gat — a group known as the Liars. Finally back on the island,…show more content…
Lockhart’s unique writing style combined with an unreliable narrator makes for a novel deserving of a five star rating, even the second time around. Cadence Sinclair is a compelling protagonist, and readers can easily relate to her as she struggles with her parent’s divorce, first loves, pain, and memory loss. Cadence’s portrayal of her dad’s abandonment was only the beginning of our compassion towards the teenager. (p.5) Although the concept of memory loss may seem like an overused plot device, Lockhart elevates it beyond just that. Her word play and creative use of sentence fragments create an artful description of the events in the novel. Take, for instance, Cadence’s description of Gat, “Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee.” (p.10) Lockhart’s strategic use of symbolism and imagery throughout the book adds depth and meaning to the story. Harris Sinclair’s beach house is the centre of all complications, and the “seat of the patriarchy.” (p.178) For these reasons, the Liars decide to burn it down. Lockhart’s choice of setting, a private family island, only muddles events further. The characters rarely see anyone else, and the isolated island leaves the family to become absorbed in their own

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