Study Guide

Austenland Lies and Deceit

By Shannon Hale

Lies and Deceit

Jane had learned to hide her desires for such wonderful impossibilities as becoming a princess, or a supermodel, or Elizabeth Bennet. (3.26)

It seems like Jane has had a lot of practice in pretending to be someone else, but who is Jane deceiving in her real life—others, or herself? Who do you wish to be, when you wish to be someone else?

Jane hid her cell phone in the bottom of the trunk. […] It gave [Jane] a little glee to sneak something illegal across the border. (3.52)

Jane takes a little pleasure in being deceitful. She hides her cell phone even though Mrs. Wattlesbrook forbids it. Hm, we have a feeling she'll fit right in at Austenland.

[Jane] didn't know if she could role-play with a straight face. (4.10)

Even though Jane says this, she rarely has trouble role-playing, especially when it serves her own purposes of flirting or being witty.

The "kerosene" lamp by her bed had a flame-shaped lightbulb and was plugged into an outlet. (4.26)

Austenland was built to deceive. It's a modern-day estate meant to serve as a portal into the past. But, like the actors who occasionally break character, Pembrook Park can't always keep its act together.

And by the way, I'm twenty-two." (4.43)

This line, coming from Miss Charming's fifty-five-year-old mouth, has to be the biggest lie in the book. She has no problem role-playing with a straight face. Which we think is pretty impressive, because unless you're Demi Moore, no one's going to believe that fifty-year-old skin is, in fact, just a couple decades young.

I'm quite certain that Miss Charming, still in the bloom of her youth, is several years my junior. (4.53)

Jane thinks she won't be able to get this role-playing bit down, but she's somehow able to say this about Miss Charming… who is bleached blonde and twenty years older than Jane.

Play your little charade, but do not try to trap me. I will not sing for you. (5.60)

It's unusual that Mr. Nobley gets so angry with Jane for "pretending" when that's what he gets paid to do. We think it's because he already feels a strong attraction for our girl Jane.

I swore to keep any modern thingies out of sight of the guests. (6.53)

Martin is one tricky bugger. He is breaking the illusion of Austenland by bringing in space-age technology, and he's deceiving Mrs. Wattlesbrook by allowing Jane to watch TV with him. And Jane is later surprised that he can't be trusted? Humph.

It's only natural to confuse truth and fantasy as they play parts in a theatrical. (16.68)

In the middle of practicing for the play, Jane seems to utter the whole point of our theme of deceit. We don't have anything to add to this; she's done the work for us. Thanks, Jane!

You... you were paid to kiss me! (20.47)

Jane is furious with Martin, but only because she didn't know that he was paid to kiss her. Mr. Nobley was paid to flirt with her too, but she has no problem with that, because he was up-front about being there to deceive her. If that makes sense? Not much in Austenland does.