THE LIES THEY TOLD

By Mary Perrine

Discussion Questions

 

IDENTITY:

Your identity is about finding yourself. However, before you discover who you truly are, your parents, family, friends, and peers begin telling you who you are.

  1. Who was Jane? How did she become the person she was? Did she ever find herself? Explain.

  2. Using three words—two positive and one negative—describe yourself. How did each of these characteristics come to be? Who helped form them?

 

CONTROL:

Controlling people often want something: power, relationships, fame, etc.

  1. Almost everyone controlled Jane’s life. Share examples. What could she have done to remove herself from their puppet-master hands while still holding onto the things she loved and needed?

  2. Who has exhibited control over some aspect of your life? Why do we allow others to control us?

 

VALUE:

To value another person, you must first see value in yourself.

  1. It was clear from the beginning that many people did not value Jane. What are some examples from the book that demonstrate this?

  2. Have you ever felt devalued, unseen, or unimportant? Share the situation and how you handled it.

 

SURVIVAL:

From the beginning of time, humans have fought to survive. It is part of our nature.

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “Jane survived her life.” Explain.

  2. Why do some people simply survive while others thrive? What makes you subconsciously choose one over the other? Why?

 

CONFRONTATION:

Confrontation is often viewed as being hostile or negative.

  1. Jane never really confronted anyone. Why do you think this was the case? How might things have been different had she done so early on?

  2. Are you a confrontational person who hits directly, or are you a non-confrontational person who harbors resentment? What may have caused you to be this way?

 

CAUSE AND EFFECT:

For every effect, there is a cause. Any action, behavior, or thought could be the catalyst that puts everything in motion positively or negatively.

  1. What happened in Jane’s life that created the effect of her running, rather than asking for help?

  2. Think of a negative situation in your life. What was the cause? Looking back, were the effect and the cause equally connected? Explain.

 

GREED:

Greedy people feel the world owes them. They not only want their share of the pie, but they want part of other people’s as well. Some want power, others want money, and still, others want fame, etc. 

  1. What did each greedy character want? What caused their greed?

  2. Have you ever encountered a greedy person? What were they after? How did you handle the situation? Share the outcome.

 

COURAGE:

Courageous people tend to have strong values. They are often kind, generous, and caring.

  1. Was Jane courageous? Explain your answer. 

  2. When have you had to exhibit courage? How did it turn out? 

 

LOVE AND HATE:

There is a fine line between love and hate. One can turn into the other at the drop of a hat.

  1. Which characters experienced a love-hate relationship? How?

  2. Why do humans have such strong love-hate relationships? What is an example of a love-hate relationship you have with someone or something? What caused it?

 

HUMOR:

People often use humor as a shield against pain. 

  1. Amid the “Jane” crisis, Brian and Mauri exhibited a playful sense of humor. Why? What are some examples of this?

  2. Why is having a sense of humor important?

 

FINAL WORDS:

Choose one character:

Jane, Sean, Cole, Luke, Vivian, Doug, Grandma, J.J., Brian, Mauri, Mack, Jeff, Vernon, Sarah, Harrison Andrew Carter II, or Drew.

  • What might be written on the character’s headstone? Why?