If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of lying liars who tell lies in Norvelt. So, in a lot of ways, the conflict between characters in the novel stems from—wait for it!—people lying. While most of this dishonesty has the potential to be harmful (if not deadly), honesty isn't always the best policy. Norvelt is a really small town. If all the skeletons came tumbling out of all the closets, they'd have a major problem. For one thing, it would make walking around town a real pain, what with all those bones to step over. Seriously, though, in some cases, keeping secrets and telling little white diplomatic lies can help to maintain peace in the community and keep neighbors from each other's throats.
Dead End in Norvelt suggests that honesty is always the best policy.
There are sometimes legitimate reasons for telling lies and keeping secrets, especially when you live in a very small town.