The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
Versions of Reality Quotes in The Lightning Thief
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
If you're a normal kid, reading this because you think it's fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe that none of this ever happened. (1.4)
From the beginning of this story, we readers are involved in and made away of the versions of reality that are at play. Here, Percy tells us that there are different ways we can interpret and understand this story. We can be like all of those humans along the way who interpret Percy's run-in with gods and monsters as the work of a "troubled" kid with serious issues. Or we can choose to believe that what we are telling us is true. It's almost as though he's saying, "OK, readers, you can either be really narrow-minded, or you can open your eyes and really see what's going on here." It's like reverse-psychology too, because of course we want to see what's really going on. So, Percy almost helps us become believers in the gods.
"His imagination," Mr. Brunner insisted. "The Mist over the students and staff will be enough to convince him of that." (2.33)
Why do Mr. Brunner and Grover wait so long to tell Percy that he is a half-blood? It seems kind of cruel to let him believe that his mind is playing tricks on him, making him think that he hallucinated Mrs. Dobbs and killing Mrs. Dobbs. Once Percy gets to Camp Half-Blood, they don't waste any time telling him he needs to open up his mind and understand that, just because humans see things one way doesn't mean there aren't other ways of seeing them. For a kid who has been made to believe that he hallucinates things like Mrs. Dobbs and one-eyed men in trench coats, it's no wonder it takes him a while to get used to being a demi-god.
"Maybe if you hurry with that seven-layer dip…And maybe if the kid apologizes for interrupting my poker game." (3.66)
Smelly Gabe certainly has different versions of reality. He blames Percy for everything, even for things he didn't do. In this case, Smelly Gabe interrupts his own poker game to make Percy give him money. Gabe rewrites history, so to speak. So, who is to say that mortals don't have different versions of reality? Are there any other examples of moments when mortals rewrite history in a similar way?