Why Sam’s lie was actually a positive spin on the story

McLean first states it was Sam’s lie that ends up, “rescu[ing] his mother and father,” (139) from this I infer McLean is implying that Sam’s actions significantly increased all character’s overall happiness. He is stating that this lie positively impacted their lives for the better; this is true. There were many outcomes of this lie that make it beneficial to everybody. For Sam’s lie to “rescue” his mother and father, they would have to have troubles in the first place. For example, Dave was getting older and his well-being and self esteem was low. “All Dave saw in the light of spring were new wrinkles. The wrinkles made him worry. The worry made his stomach ache. He lost his appetite, he felt faint. Before long he was engulfed in a full-blown hypochondriacal funk” (139). Morley’s troubles lied at word. She had no time for herself or anyone she cared about. “She was so busy, in fact, that this spring Morley had no time for her garden, not time for her family, and no time for herself” (139). The first positive effects of the lie was when Dave received compliments from Carl. Carl said, “you look…great, Dave” (145). Dave didn’t know that he was ‘dying’, so when Carl said that he looked good, he had no idea Carl was talking about his nonexistent sickness. Dave did also say that ”[He’s] not contagious,” which also make Carl believe he really is ill. Another thing Carl gave him is a jar of spirulina which Dave thought was an input into everybody saying he looks great. “There was something in Carl Lowbeer’s herbal tonic after all” (153). Morley on the other hand, got a break from work. People frequently came to her house and took the time to talk to her. Morley was oblivious to the fact that they were talking about Dave, not Arthur whom she was referencing. It was not just Morley and Dave who got positively impacted by Sam’s lie, but others in the story. Like Sam himself. He got lasagna and a book from a second grader. “Jordy handed Sam a plastic bag. There was a wild mushroom lasagna and a book in the bag. The book was called Comfort in the Arms of the Angels” (152). He got two free ice-creams and large servings at that. There was a point in the story that made the readers think that Sam’s disclosure, that his father is dying, was negative. Sam felt guilty, but only for a short amount of time. He eventually succumbed to his guilt and told the councillor that it was his dog that was dying and not his father. Nobody believed him, and they thought he was mentally ill or distraught in some way. “He’s in denial. He wont even admit his father is sick. He says it’s the dog” (156). When he was about to reveal to his parents the reason for all the compliments and sympathy was because of his lies, he stopped. Arthur was healed, and all was well. When he got asked if either his dad, or dog is “all right”, he avoided the question and just said, “Yes, he isn’t going to die after all. He’s all better now. It wasn’t so bad as we thought. They gave him pills” (157). No matter who was talking to, that sentence would apply and make sense. At the end, we see that every character in the story is now happy. It’s due to Arthur getting healed, Morley’s off time from work, and Dave’s new-found morale. All the other characters have been positively impacted too. Their happiness is like a comeback football game. At the beginning the team is struggling, or in this case, feeling bad for Dave and Sam. They are emotionally torn during the game, or the story. At the end, the team wins! Or rather, Dave doesn’t die! The tables are turned, and how grieved they were before has become how ecstatic they are at the end. So, in conclusion, although the lie hadn’t been a good plan initially, it worked for the better at the end.


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