Study Guide

Matched Lies and Deceit

By Ally Condie

Lies and Deceit

For a moment, I think I should tell Xander everything. […] I should tell him about Ky's face on the screen. I should tell him about Ky in the woods, how he saw the poem. […] Instead, I shake my head. I don't want to talk about it right now. (11.53)

This is the first time Cassia deliberately hides the truth from Xander. While she wrestles with the decision this time, it foreshadows how natural it will become for her to lie to him (and others).

Mistake? It wasn't a mistake, I think. And then I realize: She doesn't know. He hasn't told her. My father has a secret from my mother. (14.75)

To Cassia, her parents' match is perfect and provides a solid foundation for her belief in the rules and order of society. Realizing that lies exist between them shatters that. Oh wait, but Cassia doesn't reveal the secret either. See? Lying's becoming second nature.

"Cassia," Xander says again. "I can hide it for you. Say you've lost it. Make your story convincing." (18.18)

Cassia's such a bad influence that Xander starts lying too. Or is it just that he loves her, and lies come naturally when protecting those we love? It's an important moment in the text because we start to realize that Cassia's not the only one willing to deceive the Society.

He tells me something in that silent pause that he cannot say out loud.

Ky can play this game. […] He knows exactly how to play, and that's why he loses every time. (20.100-101)

Yup, this book is full of liars. Ky's lying too—but he lets Cassia know the truth. Does it mean something if you find someone you can let in on your truths? What it means for Ky is that he's becoming less careful about staying under Society's radar, foreshadowing that something bad is likely to happen.

[…] it must be difficult to keep inside, to not share with us. But she is strong and she keeps the secrets because it protects us. (21.17)

Ugh, isn't it so annoying when you know secrets and can't share them? It requires brute strength sometimes. For Cassia's mom, holding everything inside her becomes increasingly stressful to the point that she starts self-medicating, illustrating the pure power of secrets.

He looks at me, surprised. "Her voice. She's not real. It's generated. The perfect voice. Like all of the singers, in all of the songs." (25.23)

Okay, so the fact that this singer's voice is auto-generated may not seem like the biggest deal in terms of things Cassia's been lied to about, but it illustrates the overall pattern—pretty much everything in Cassia's life is a big fat lie.

"Lies," Patrick Markham says. […] "The Officials told Ky and other workers […] that they'd been given a new work position. A better one. But in reality, they're sending them to the Outer Provinces to fight." (29.44)

Well that's a pretty epic lie… This moment is illuminating for Cassia, who has up until this point believed that—for the most part—Society is looking out for her best interests. This, however, is pretty emblematic of the bigger lies Society's telling and how it uses them to placate its citizens. Rather than looking out for the interests of its citizens, Society's focused on retaining power and control.

"It won't hurt you. All it does is clear your mind." (29.69)

This is pretty much the biggest possible deception there is. As Cassia learns, anytime the citizens learn something Society doesn't want them to know, they just up and erase their entire memories to perpetuate the lies.

There are things she doesn't know. With this realization, it is as though something has been given back to me. (30.115)

It seems deceiving others gives you a sense of power and control over them. Throughout the book, we see ways in which the Society has lied to its citizens in order to mollify them—and when Cassia realizes she's been able to deceive Society, she regains a sense of control.

This happened before. This Borough keeps changing names. What other bad things lie beneath the surface of our Borough? What have we buried underneath our rocks and trees and flowers and houses? (31.94)

This is one of our first hints about the history of rebellion in the Society, and the lengths to which Society will go to prevent rebellion from coming into fruition. Cassia remembers that much of what's happening now has happened in the past. Obviously, lots of questions remain, but since we're a few pages from the end of the book, we think Cassia's foreshadowing things she'll learn in later books.

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