Study Guide

What I Saw and How I Lied Prejudice

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What I Saw and How I Lied takes place at the very end of WWII, and you'd think that since the war has just been fought, there would no longer be any prejudice against Jewish people—especially in America. But the very beginning of the book tells us otherwise; we see Evie's school friend still making fun of a girl because she's Jewish. And then when Evie goes to Palm Beach with her family, she finds out that Jewish people are being turned away from the hotels because of their heritage. And none of this makes America a place that embraces equality and fairness.

Questions About Prejudice

  1. Why does Evie decide to be friends with Ruth instead of Margie at the end of the book?
  2. Do you think that the manager is fair in throwing the Graysons out? Why or why not?
  3. How do the other adults react to the revelation that the Graysons are Jewish?

Chew on This

Even though Joe and Bev claim to be the Graysons' friends, their prejudice shows in their inaction when the Graysons are kicked out of the hotel. Instead of standing up for their friends and leaving with them, Joe and Bev stay put—implying that they too believe in the racial standards of the hotel.

In the end, Evie has seen too much injustice and immorality to go back to her old life. Instead of hanging out with Margie, she decides to become friends with Ruth and to see Mrs. Grayson instead—making amends in whatever way she can for the sins of her parents.

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