Examples Of Archetypes In We Were Liars

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Archetypal Literary Criticism of We Were Liars When reading a novel it can be easy to get caught up in the sea of words and not realize the actual depth the text conveys. Literary theory can be used to help highlight the intricate abyss of a text. For example, in the novel, We Were Liars, we see that Cadence represents our lost child archetype, and Grandfather, Harris, represents the mastermind archetype. The overall story can be subjected into the fall archetype. The author's use of these archetypes helps progress the theme of appearance versus reality. This has been incredibly engineered by the Sinclair family's ability to hide their innumerable problems through money and a perfectly crafted facade. Author E. Lockhart of the book We Were …show more content…

The theme present in We Were Liars is the idea that an intense longing for money and power only leads to the destruction of not only yourself, but the world around you. There were many archetypes in this novel that helped contribute to the theme, but a main one was the fall (“Archetypes”) highlighting the descending of a character from an inflated state of being into a curtailed one. Cadence, our main character, starts off in the book with the look of a seemingly perfect life. Her family is one only dreamt of, she has multiple homes, including a luxurious vacation house, and of course a love interest who reciprocates the same feelings. As the novel continues the audience learns of the great tragedy that struck Cadence during the “liars” plan to set fire on the Clairmont house. Cadence was the only one to live after the fire, but she had awoken in the hospital with a serious head injury. Cadence had awakened at the sound of a faint voice saying, “I'll be fine, they tell me. I won't die. It'll just hurt a lot.” (Lockhart 223). The fire. Four liars. Now one, Cadence Sinclair. The grieving process, brought upon by the fire, is beyond tortuous, Cadence is stripped of everything in her, she is left in a place of grief, loneliness, and worst of all, she's left with a version of herself that is unrecognizable. I believe this is the perfect tie to the theme by showing …show more content…

Another archetype present in the novel was lost child (“Archetype”). A lost child is someone who isolates themselves from most things they used to partake in. Cadence says, “I am in bed for two days. Every now and then the sharp pain wanes to ache” (Lockhart 118). This quote helps to show the seclusion she endures. In the story we also see Cadence travels to Europe with her father. “IN EUROPE, I vomited into small buckets and brushed my teeth repeatedly with chalky British toothpaste. I lay prone on the bathroom floors of several museums, feeling the cold tile underneath my cheek as my brain liquefied and seeped out my ear, bubbling. Migraines left my blood spreading across unfamiliar hotel sheets, dripping on the floors, oozing into carpets, soaking through leftover croissants and Italian lace cookies.” (Lockhart 103) This quote helps tie into the lost child (“Archetype”) by showing yet again she is separated from her family, and she chooses to turn to only herself with the pain she possesses. These quotes help progress the theme of appearance versus reality because we see Cadence on vacation to all these incredible places, yet she is still miserable, suffering, and

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