Study Guide

Big Little Lies Lies and Deceit

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Lies and Deceit

We know that the fact that "Lies and Deceit" is a big theme in a book called Big Little Lies is…less than shocking.

This book is crawling with lies and the liars that spread them. We see the whole spectrum—from lies designed to save other people and protect loved ones to delusional, personal lies designed to help people cope with their own trauma to lies spread unknowingly via the all-powerful Pirriwee rumor mill.

Big Little Lies doesn't let us forget one simple fact: pretty much all of us lie. If not to other people, than definitely to ourselves.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Why does Bonnie decide to confess in full? 
  2. What reasons does Celeste have to deceive herself about the extent of Perry's abuse?
  3. Is the size of Pirriwee conducive to the spread of rumors? Do rumor mills flourish in some places more than others?
  4. We access the world of Pirriwee through predominantly female characters. What are the male characters lying about?

Chew on This

Madeline is the most truthful character in the book, and that is why she is seen as confrontational.

The stark class divisions in Pirriwee help make it a hotbed of lies and deceit because the lower classes are being oppressed.

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