Study Guide

She's Come Undone Lies and Deceit

By Wally Lamb

Lies and Deceit

Wally Lamb is actually a woman. She's Come Undone is secretly Oprah's biography. Elvis Presley is still alive.

These things are all lies, and not very good ones at that. We'd do well to study under Dolores Price, who becomes quite an accomplished liar over the course of the novel. She lies to her parents, to her friends (well, if she had any), therapists, teachers—pretty much everyone—in order to make it seem like her life is better than it is. Maybe it's all the TV she watches and she just wants to be Queen for a Day. Or a week. Or her whole life… Given her run, we can't say we'd blame her.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Why does Dolores lie? Does she learn to lie from someone else?
  2. Who else in the book lies? How do they react to Dolores's lies, despite being liars themselves?
  3. Dolores enters her relationship with Dante on false pretenses, and Dante lies to her about losing his job and having an affair. Who tells the more egregious lie? Why?
  4. When is Dolores actually honest? How would these situations have been different if she lied?
  5. How would certain situations be different if Dolores told the truth instead of lying?

Chew on This

Dolores's life would be better if she didn't lie all the time. She wouldn't have ended up in an abusive relationship with Dante, she wouldn't have made enemies with Kippy, and she generally wouldn't be miserable.

Dolores's life would have been worse if she were honest. She wouldn't have any relationships, she probably wouldn't have gone to college, and she'd be super miserable, stuck at home in front of the television.